Educational Trips to the Center Our educational facilities at the center can easily accommodate both small and large groups. The Discovery Room is ideal for smaller programs and activities. For larger audiences, the Elk Country Campus Outdoors (ECCO) building allows the staff to educate up to 150 visitors at a time.
The Discovery Room is located in the Visitor Center and is equipped with a projector and screen for educational programs. It is great for small educational presentations and is also spacious enough for hands-on activities like our antler scoring program.
The ECCO Building itself is an educational tool that demonstrates the Keystone Elk Country Alliance’s dedication to sound environmentally-friendly practices. The ECCO building features a state of the art biomass boiler, radiant in-floor heat, and a magnificent fireplace that was hand-crafted from stone harvested from the property. Our NanaWall glass walls allow the comfort of an enclosed classroom or the opportunity to open the walls to enjoy nature. In the ECCO Building, groups can learn about the environmentally-friendly design of our buildings as well as enjoy a number of our other educational programs.
Not only does the Elk Country Visitor Center boast two charming educational classrooms, the center has also deeply ingrained education into its interactive exhibits. Students can tour the center’s Great Room and learn about the various animals that call Pennsylvania home—including our favorite, the elk! In addition to the Great Room, the visitor center also has a 4D sensory theater that takes its audience on a journey into the past to learn the history of Pennsylvania’s elk herd. Lastly, and certainly not least, the center also has a nature trail that leads to an outdoor classroom so that students can enjoy nature while they learn. Educational Distance Learning Program
Here at the Elk Country Visitor Center, we understand that not all schools and groups are able to physically come to the center. That is where the Keystone Elk Country Alliance’s innovative and interactive Distance Learning Program comes in! Using a live-action software application like Skype or Google Hangouts, our education staff is able to connect with classrooms all over the United States to deliver our programs online at NO CHARGE! What’s even better? In addition to our education sessions, each group will receive an “Elk Trunk” full of props students can see and touch while learning about elk from us here at the center. No other distance learning program offers this tactile interactive experience, which ignites enthusiasm and a sense of wonder for children of all ages.
“Thank you for this fabulous opportunity. I wish I could be in the 4th graders’ homes tonight to hear what they shared with their families. One of my students and her family are planning to come to The Elk Center this weekend. She is very excited to show her family what she has learned.” ~Angela Homan, teacher
So far KECA’s one-of-a-kind distance learning experience has positively impacted over 4,900 students in 22 Pennsylvania counties and also the states of New York, Virginia and Florida. As this amazing program continues to expand, many more children will have the opportunity to cultivate a sense of connectedness to nature, and especially, to elk and their habitat.
Our Distance Learning program is made possible through the generous support of:
Lesson Topics Include, but are not limited to:
LEED & Green Energy
A sample of our Lesson Plans can be view by clicking on the appropriate title below:
Don’t see quite what you’re looking for? No problem, our conservation education department will work with you to create a custom lesson plan for you and your students!
Our Conservation Education Team Courtney Colley, Conservation Education Coordinator - In 2015, Courtney graduated with a Master of Science in Environmental Biology from Shippensburg University. Courtney also holds a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Mineral Science and an Associate of Science from the Pennsylvania State University. In the spring of 2016, Courtney worked as an adjunct instructor of wildlife technology and was awarded "Adjunct Educator of the Year" from the Pennsylvania State University (DuBois Campus). Courtney previously held positions as a wildlife tutor, an animal care and physiology assistant, a Golden-winged warbler monitoring assistant, and a research assistant. In addition, Courtney volunteered as an environmental educator for the LeTort Environmental Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Andy Olson, Wildlife Biologist graduated from Penn State University.
Mandy Marconi, Pa Game Commission graduated from Penn State University.
For more information, or to schedule a visit or distance learning session, please call our Conservation Education Department at 814-787-5173 or email KECAConEd@windstream.net.