SC State Parks offer virtual field trips through Discover Carolina education series

January 15, 2021

Columbia, S.C. – Teachers and parents looking for virtual learning opportunities can take advantage of Discover Carolina’s new virtual field trips and learning activities. These free, on-demand educational videos and corresponding activity sheets give South Carolina students a chance to explore SC State Parks from the comfort of home or the classroom.

Discover Carolina is the education initiative created by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism to transform SC State Parks into living classrooms. Our knowledgeable Park Interpreters have led thousands of students on memorable learning experiences that meet Department of Education academic standards and immerse students in South Carolina’s best natural and cultural resources.

To make these invaluable experiences more accessible, we’ve transformed these educational programs into virtual field trips. Students across the state – and around the world – can learn more about science and history through age-appropriate video content and supplemental activities.

Virtual field trips available now:

Jones Gap State Park, Marietta, SC
1. River Ecology | 3rd and 4th grade: Jones Gap State Park is home to spectacular waterfalls and a protective environment for rare and endangered plant and animal species. Explore the coldwater organisms that call the Middle Saluda River home, including native brook trout, salamanders, crayfish, and other coldwater animals. Science: 3.S.1A.1, 3.S.1A.3, 3.S.1A.6, 4.S.1A.1, 4.S.1A.3, 4.S.1A.6

2. Forest Ecology | 3rd and 4th grade: Take a virtual hike and record different plants, animals, and observations in the layers of the forest. Learn how interactions among these organisms define a mountain forest community and connect to a coldwater mountain stream. Science: 3.L.5B.1, 3.L.5b.2, 4.S.1.A.3, 4.L.5B.2, 4.L.5B.3

Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC

1. Sensational Seeds | 1st grade: Through an active seed exploration of Myrtle Beach State Park’s maritime forest and beach, learn about plants, seeds and seed dispersal methods to survive and to live and grow in diverse habitats. Science: 1.L5A.5A., 1.5B.5B1

2. Terrific Turtles | 2nd grade: Learn about the different turtles that live at Myrtle Beach State Park and how they are adapted to their habitat. There will be a special emphasis on loggerhead sea turtles and how they survive during their different stages of development. Science: 2.L.5A. 2.L5A.1.2.3

Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville, SC

1. Life Cycling | 2nd grade: As ‘Biologists,’ follow along lifecycle field investigations in a creek and on land, collecting animals, measuring water/air temperature and measuring the length of animals from the creek. Classify and compare animals based on lifecycle stages, metamorphosis, and the need for habitat in all stages of life. Science: 2.l.5A, 2.L.5A.1, 2.L.5A.2, 2.L.5A.3, 2.L.5B

2. Aquatic and Forest Ecology | 5th grade: As ‘Aquatic Ecologists,’ tag along on field investigations to determine water quality in this forested watershed. Our Park Interpreter will show you how to collect organisms in Mountain Creek and then demonstrate how to measure the abiotic factors of temperature and pH. Science: 5.L.4A, 5.L.4A.1, 5.L.4A.2, 5.L.4B.1

Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site, Beech Island, SC

1. Plantation Life in the 19th Century | 4th grade: Explore the lives of children in the mid-1800s on a cotton plantation, revealing the day-to-day hardships of slavery, the inequality of educational opportunities and the differences in the lifestyles of the plantation owner’s family and the enslaved families. Social Studies: 1: 4.1.1, 4.1.5; 5: 4.5.5, 4.5.6; 6: 4.6.4, 4.6.5, 4.6.6

Sesquicentennial State Park, Columbia, SC

1. Naturally Sense-sational | Kindergarten: Explore the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of nature! Learn the secrets of our Magic Smelling Potion and explore the forest with Rainbow Chips in this program designed to make sense of the five senses. Science: K.S.1A.1, K.S.1A.7, K.L.2A, K.L.2A.4

2. Plantastic | 1st grade: Using plenty of observation, explore the fascinating world of trees native to South Carolina, getting to the root of how trees survive! We’ll discover why it isn’t easy being green as we cultivate an appreciation for all things green and growing. Science : 1.S.1A, 1.S.1A.1, 1.L.5A, 1.L.5A.1

3. Insectigations | 2nd grade: Whether they creep, crawl, flutter, float or fly, all insects have a few special things in common. Get eye-to-compound eye with a host of insects to discover what makes them unique! Science: 2.S.1A, 2.S.1A.3, 2.L.5B, 2.L.5B.1, 2.L.5B.3

Table Rock State Park, Pickens, SC

1. Mountain Stream Ecology | 5th grade: Tag along while we collect coldwater organisms like macro invertebrates, salamanders, crayfish and more in Carrick Creek, learning how these organisms interact and how to define a coldwater habitat. Science: 5.S.1A.1, 5.S.1A.3, 5.S.1A.4; 5.L.4A.1,5.L.4A.2; 5.L.4B.2, 5.L.4B.3, 5.L.4B.4

2. Mountain Forest Ecology | 5th grade: Take a virtual hike on the Carrick Creek Trail exploring different vegetation layers, habitats, and the relationships among organisms and with their environment. Science: 5.S.1A.1, 5.S.1A.3, 5.S.1A.4; 5.L.4A.1,5.L.4A.2; 5.L.4B.2, 5.L.4B.3, 5.L.4.B.4

More virtual field trips will be available soon!
Follow SC State Parks on social media or subscribe to our SC State Parks Newsletter to get an update when more virtual field trips are posted.


Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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