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A learning program with teachers in mind

The Springboard Series for Distance Learning provides experiential, science-based education opportunities through virtual, real-time interaction with conservation and water resource experts, scientists and naturalists from the Springs Preserve. Choose from the video topics below and use the corresponding registration button to reserve a time for our experts to virtually visit your classroom for an engaging presentation to inspire STEM learning for your students!

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Region-specific videos produced by Springs Preserve experts

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Live sessions with zoologists, biologists and horticulturalists

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Topics aligned with state standards to help achieve academic goals

Ready to spring into learning?

Select an elementary, middle or high school subject and register online!

Elementary

Desert Tortoise

Experts: Thomas O'Toole, Supervising Zoologist; Rachel VanHorn, Zoological Collection Specialist
Intended Audience: Kindergarten - Second Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Friday

Meet Nevada’s state reptile and learn how this shelled quadruped survives in North America’s driest desert. Explore the unique adaptations that help the desert tortoise not only survive in the Mojave Desert, but also thrive in it. Discover how the Desert Tortoise’s adaptations influence human design.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


The Zoologist's Apprentice

Experts: Chris Sakmar, Preserve Naturalist; Katrina Smith, Zoological Specialist
Intended Audience: Kindergarten - Second Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Friday

Explore the fascinating adaptations of Mojave Desert animals. Learn about the habitat, defense mechanisms, traits and adaptive features of animals that share our desert home. Also, discover how humans apply animal adaptations to everyday life.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


From a Spring to a Town:  Early Peoples to the New City of Las Vegas

Experts: Aaron Micallef, Preserve Curation Supervisor; Abby Phillips, Preserve Education Specialist
Intended Audience: Third - Fifth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday, Thursday, Friday

Take a virtual tour of the history of the Las Vegas Valley. From indigenous peoples to European settlers, from dusty watering hole to bustling city, learn about the humble beginnings of Las Vegas in this quick, digital field trip at the Springs Preserve.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


Water Doctors

Experts: Eric Wert, Ariel Atkinson, Christina Morrison and Faith Kibuye, River Mountains Water Quality and Treatment Team
Intended Audience: Third - Fifth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Thursday

Take a virtual tour of Southern Nevada’s water treatment facilities. Explore the science, stat-of-the-art technology and complex systems that deliver high-quality drinking water to your tap.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


Water and Energy

Experts: Doug Bennett, Conservation Manager; Toby Bickmore, Conservation Services Admin.
Intended Audience: Fourth - Fifth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Thursday

Explore the inextricable relationship between water and energy. Discover how we use water, one of many natural resources, to produce energy and how we use energy and water to produce everything else. Learn about “embedded/virtual” water and how conserving any single thing, conserves many.

View on YouTube | Download MP4

How To Register Your Class

If you'd like to reserve a time for our experts to virtually visit your classroom, click the button below to submit your request. In the comments field, please include your requested topic, school name and grade level, and possible dates and times for your virtual visit.

Request an expert

Middle and High School

Introduction to the Colorado River

Experts: Amy Best, Project Manager – Colorado River Exhibit; Seth Shanahan, Colorado River Programs Manager
Intended Audience: Sixth - Eighth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Thursday

Learn about how human impact and climate change shapes the Colorado River and Lake Mead.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


Solutions to Maintain Biodiversity and Our Ecosystem

Experts: Ray Saumure, Environmental Biologist; Katrina Smith, Zoological Specialist
Intended Audience: Sixth - Eighth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Thursday

Learn about the Refugia Ponds located at the Springs Preserve and how we recreated an environment to help populations of two endangered species reproduce.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


The Las Vegas Wash

Experts: Julia Lantow, Environmental Biologist; Tim Ricks, Environmental Biologist
Intended Audience: Sixth - Eighth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Tuesday

Learn about the biological importance of the Las Vegas Wash and why it is home to several species.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


Anatomy of a Barrel Cactus

Experts: Dan Secinaro, Preserve Gardens & Horticulture Specialist; Stephenie Thomas, Preserve Lead Gardens Worker
Intended Audience: Sixth - Twelfth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Wednesday

Learn about the barrel cactus structure and system for a variety of functions as well as explain how new varieties of cultivated plants have resulted from selective breeding for particular traits.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


Chemistry of Composting

Experts: Fritz Kollmann, Preserve Gardens Supervisor; Cindy Dixon, Preserve Education Specialist
Intended Audience: Sixth - Twelfth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Wednesday

Learn about how compost is made, why it is important and how it affects the health and growth of plants.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


Vegas Since the Beginning of Time

Expert: Nathan Harper, Preserve Archaeologist
Intended Audience: Sixth - Twelfth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Monday - Thursday

Nathan will compare and contrast the variety of methods by which geologic time is determined, including radioactive dating. Also, explain the fossil record of ancient life forms by applying the idea of natural selection and its evolutionary consequences.

View on YouTube | Download MP4


Poop Don’t Lie: Looking for COVID-19 in Wastewater

Experts: Dan Gerrity, Principal Research Laboratory Scientist; Katerina Papp, Post Doctoral Researcher
Intended Audience: Ninth - Twelfth Grade
Summer Virtual Visit Availability: Tuesday - Thursday

Learn how COVID-19 can be discovered in wastewater, methods used to get the data needed to help identify where COVID is present and the future of wastewater epidemiology.

View on YouTube | Download MP4

How To Register Your Class

If you'd like to reserve a time for our experts to virtually visit your classroom, click the button below to submit your request. In the comments field, please include your requested topic, school name and grade level, and possible dates and times for your virtual visit.

Request an expert

The Springboard Series was made possible by Sharon & Stephen Pierce and The Rosenblum Family Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse below for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Springboard virtual learning program. If you don't see the answer you need, please email us or call 702-822-7700.

Any licensed teacher employed by a public, private, or charter school in Nevada.
Class registrations for the Springboard Series are available up to six weeks in advance.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Sharon and Stephen Pierce along with the Rosenblum Family Foundation, this program is offered free of charge to educators for their classroom.
Due to limited availability of our experts, each teacher may book one expert per semester. Please select only the videos/experts that are intended for your grade level. If you select more than one expert or request content outside of your grade level, your request will be declined.
At this time, availability is limited for our Springboard Series Experts. Please email us to be put on an interest list when additional time opens up.
Yes, our videos were produced to help students with STEM learning and expand their understanding of our local area.
At this time, we are only scheduling visits with school-based classrooms. To be placed on an interest list when more opportunities become available, please email us.