K-2nd Field Trips

K-2nd Field Trips


  • Where: Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park and/or Jornada Experimental Range
  • Cost: $3 per student; all adults are free
  • Maximum Group Size: 100 (minimum group size 40)
  • Length: All day

In the “Cow Rumen” field trip activity station, students learn about the digestive system of a cow, the difference between the cow’s and a human’s digestion, and the microclimate in the cow’s rumen.



In collaboration with the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range, the Asombro Institute for Science Education provides an opportunity for students to learn about science and the desert during a day-long field trip.


Students visit 3 to 5 stations where they learn about different science topics (see below). Students are also teamed with scientist guides on a guided exploration of the desert or a desert scavenger hunt (dependent on travel time). Students come away with an appreciation for all that exists in the desert, an area many of them once considered a wasteland.


On most field trips, student worksheets are provided. We ask teachers to collect these worksheets for a grade or classroom credit. We cannot guarantee that every field trip station listed will be available because we depend on our base of trained volunteers. However, we make every effort to accommodate your request.


This program is open to all schools in southern New Mexico. Call the Asombro Institute office (575-524-3334) to schedule your school’s field trip!


Note: If your students participated in an Asombro field trip previously, we will not duplicate the education stations they did the previous year, unless otherwise requested.


Field Trip Activity Stations


Animal Adaptations

Students are introduced to local desert animals and their physical and behavioral adaptations. Use of live animals is key to giving students an up-close look at some of the more elusive animals found in the desert.


Classify It

Students observe similarities and differences within groups of items. They then group the items into different categories based on visible characteristics.


Cow Rumen

Students learn about the digestive system of a cow, the difference between the cow’s digestion and human digestion, and the microclimate within the cow’s rumen.


Desert Plant Adaptations

Students are introduced to five native Chihuahuan Desert plants (barrel cactus, ocotillo, creosote bush, yucca, and honey mesquite). By playacting the plants’ adaptations, students gain knowledge and have fun.


Play It Safe

Through a fun activity, students learn about being safe in the desert. Knowing what to wear, what to bring and what to do if they see snakes, spiders, bees and other animals, students gain an understanding of their unique ecosystem.


See It Little, See It Big

This station teaches students how to properly use binoculars and hand lenses to view the desert world a little closer. By using these tools, students will identify and draw different natural objects at close range.


Social Insects

Students are introduced to the social insects (ants, bees, and wasps). After learning what makes these groups similar, students play an active game that shows the benefits of sociality on food gathering and defense. The game is really a simple scientific investigation and requires students to pay attention to instructions, compare two situations and communicate their results.