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 EDUCATION PROGRAMS

 
 

Old Westbury Gardens offers a wide variety of guided programs designed for K-12 students and educators to explore Westbury House and Gardens.

Guided hands-on tours are designed in conjunction with NYS Curriculum Standards and allow the property to act as an extension of a teacher's classroom to create concrete counterparts to traditional school lessons in Natural Science, Art, Sopcial Science, English and History.

Trips must be booked in advance and are available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with 9:00 am, 10:30 am, and 12:00 pm start times.

Groups are welcome to lunch in our outdoor public picnic area, weather permitting, directly following the programs.

Double program days can also be accommodated.

C O S T:

$9.00 per student; Teachers and aides are admitted free of charge
$9.00 per chaperone (Additional parents and caregivers)

$125.00 program minimum required to book a date.

Contact Lisa Reichenberger at (516) 333-0048 Ext. 338 for more information or to arrange a visit.

 
 
 

SCHOOL GROUP
EDUCATION PROGRAMS


EARLY LEARNER-PRE-K-GRADE 1

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Follow Your Nose... And Ears

Discover the many ways to explore your five senses through nature. Students build observation and identification skills through a hands-on Gardens tour. Textured and scented plants are highlighted in a mystery activity connecting recognition skills with sense of touch. Students plant an edible flower to bring the lesson home. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Living Environment Key Idea 1

Flew the Coop

Old Westbury Gardens is home to over one hundred species of birds. Observe and discover why they choose to make their homes amongst our acres. Learn how scientists use their senses to identify different species and how our feathered friends benefit the environment around them. Students create a take home Sunflower Seed Mosaic craft. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1, 3, 5-6

Plants are like People?

Did you know- plants are just like us? Discover a plant’s basic needs, parts and life cycle stages through Gardens games and hands-on activities. Learn how the environment thrives with their help. Students will meet and plant a “Plant Pal” to take home. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Physical Setting Key Idea 4 LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1, 3 - 6

Seeds for Thought

Whether the start of new plant life or a local food source, seed benefits are endless. Join us for a Gardens hike to investigate the many ways seeds aid the lives of people. Find out how wildlife depend on seeds with the changing seasons and celebrate seeds with a Sunflower Seed Mosaic craft to take home. NYS Learning Standard: LS 6 The Living Environment Key Ideas 3, 5 - 6

Wonders in the Woods

How many stories can be found in the forest? Hear how trees work on a lake trail walk studying leaves, bark, other parts and functions. Stop, look and listen to a stump’s unique rings and learn the tale it tells from the inside out. Students craft a paper “tree cookie” to represent the importance of their own life stories. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Physical Setting Key Idea 2 LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1, 3 - 6


ELEMENTARY - GRADES 2-4

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It's Not Easy Being Green

Using qualities of fragrance, texture and taste, plants directly affect their surroundings. Students follow their noses to investigate the symbiotic relationship of plants and the world around them discovering how, with key adaptations, plants are able to thrive in all types of habitats. Students plant a companion plant to bring the lesson home. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1 - 6

Fine Feathered Friends

Trek through Old Westbury Gardens like a true bird-watcher and discover various species that make their home on site. Observe and decide why some birds choose to migrate and how resident birds survive the cold winter. Students will finish the program with a take home activity celebrating birds. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1, 3, 5-6

Nature Upcycled

Water, light, soil– all in constant revolution, renewing and regenerating around us. Learn how Earth naturally balances and regulates our interdependent outdoor environment. Students debate humanity’s role in sustainability and craft an upcycled art piece to take home. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Physical Setting Key Ideas 1 - 7

Welcome to the PollenNation

The Gardens are abuzz with excitement in the growing season! Study the science of attraction as it relates to physical adaptations of flora and fauna. Students spy pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies in action and take flight in a Gardens Pollination race. A bee buzzer craft completes the lesson. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1, 3, 5 - 6

Dash Through the Decades

Time travel to early 1900s Gardens to experience Phipps family life first hand. Play games of the period, read family letters and view photo album pages to get the inside scoop on the Gold Coast era. Get your hands on history as you participate in a team artifact challenge to discover the function of mystery objects over a century old. NYS Learning Standard: LS 1 US and NY History Key Ideas 1 - 4


INTERMEDIATE-GRADES 5-8

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Plant Adaptations

Learn the language of plant communication while discovering hundreds of plant species found in the Gardens. Students explore techniques employed by horticulturists to insure their gardens remain protected from pests, disease and unfavorable weather conditions. Get an inside look at plant physiology through a hands-on flower dissection. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1 - 6

A Bird’s Eye View

Unleash your inner ornithologist as you test your bird identification skills in the Gardens. Learn how birds play a vital role in our environment through pest control and seed scattering. Discuss the differences between native and non-native species and how they interact in the habitat. Conclude the program with a hands-on craft celebrating birds. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Physical Setting Key Idea 3 LS4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1, 3, 5 – 7

Cycles in Nature

Nothing goes to waste in nature. Explore the different types of energy cycles that are in constant motion and how people’s role in environmental sustainability affects these cycles. “Upcycled” materials will help create unique student art pieces that reflect the wonder of nature’s recycling capabilities. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Physical Setting Key Ideas 1 - 7

Citizen Science- Entomology

Citizen scientists unite to study backyard bugs at the Gardens. Learn the basics of insect identification, life cycles and behavioral effects of beneficial and invasive species. Take part in an on-site count, collecting, comparing and analyzing seasonal data. A bee buzzer craft completes the lesson. NYS Learning Standard: LS 4 The Living Environment Key Ideas 1, 3, 5 - 6

History, Hot off the Press!

Time travel to 1900s Westbury Gardens to investigate fact and fiction of Phipps family life. Student journalists get their hands on history interpreting primary and secondary Gold Coast era sources. Follow the paper trail of photos & articles to determine the truth behind the Phipps’ notable lifestyle. A modern media team activity merges past and present. NYS Learning Standard: LS 1 US and NY History Key Ideas 1 - 4


SECONDARY-GRADES 9-12

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Gold Coast House & Gardens Tour

Bring the Great Gatsby to life with an Old Westbury Gardens tour of Carnegie steel heir J.S. Phipps’ former estate. Guided local history tours are presented by seasoned educators and focus on literary comparisons between the reality of Gold Coast life and the classic work of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Students explore 200 preserved acres including beautiful formal gardens in bloom, Peggie Phipps' childhood playhouse cottage and sprawling open space landscapes.

Social Media

The digitalization of historic US newspapers and magazines has made uncovering the past more accessible than ever. Take a guided tour through Westbury House and learn about the Phipps Family through their presence in the media. Activities compare and contrast media trends and the evolution of social media, as well as trends in reporting the lives and interests of "celebrities".

Entrepreneurship

Students join a guided tour of Westbury House and learn about Henry Phipps, steel industry entrepreneur. Let the Phipps family inspire you with philanthropy by learning how non-profit organizations succeed. Students will expand their entrepreneurial minds in business planning activities relevant to today's world.

Dash Through the Decades

Experience Phipps' family life first hand as you time travel back to early 1900s Westbury House. Read family letters, play games of the period, and view photo album pages to get the inside scoop on Gold Coast history. Complete a hands-on artifact team challenge to discover the purposes of selected mystery objects from over 100 years ago.

Traveler

Tour Westbury House discussing the travelling lifestyle of an early 1900s Gold Coast family. Inspiration travel boards, budget comparisons, language lessons and dress codes past vs present will be explored. A local scoop itinerary activity encouraging students to plan a voyage to their own town with a visitor's eye.


Environmental Education School Programs are sponsored in part by:

 
 
 
 

SCOUT PROGRAMS

 
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Old Westbury Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a beautiful and inviting site for scouts to earn loops and pins. 

 

GIRL SCOUT BADGES

Fun, hands-on guided programs offer six levels of scouts - Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador - opportunities to complete full badges in one hour programs.  Guided tours of house and gardens explore a variety of interests including nature and science, art, social studies and history.

The East Lake Bridge can be reserved for Girl Scout Bridging ceremonies for a low, flat rate!

Trips must be booked in advance.  

COST: 
$9.00 per scout
; Troop leader is admitted free of charge;
$7.00 for Non-leaders (Additional adults and children not participating in the craft/ activity) 

$75 program minimum required to book a date. 

Contact Lisa Reichenberger at (516) 333-0048 Ext. 338 for more information or to arrange a visit. 


GIRL SCOUT DAISY

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Springtime Daisy Tour

Outdoor tour guides scouts through the formal Gardens searching for Daisy and her flower friends. Visible spring friends may include Tula the Tulip, Vi the Violet and more. Planting conditions and the importance of bees will be discussed. Scouts will practice the bee waggle dance (bee communication) and will plant take home Plant Pals to practice the Journey’s emphasis of responsibility.

Fall Daisy Tour

Outdoor tour guides scouts through the formal Gardens searching for Daisy and her flower friends. Visible fall friends may include Sunny the Sunflower, Geri the Geranium and Zinni the Zinnia. Planting conditions and the importance of bees will be discussed. Scouts will practice the bee waggle dance (bee communication) and will plant take home Plant Pals to practice the Journey’s emphasis of responsibility.


GIRL SCOUT BROWNIE

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Brownie Girl Scout Way

Outdoor tour discusses Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low’s creation of the girl scouts and their importance to the environment. Girls search the Gardens listening for inspiring sounds of nature. Environmental preservation is covered as is minimal impact (“leave a place better than you found it”) and practicing its methods in natural habitats. Rain stick natural music sound craft.

Bugs

Outdoor tour canvases the Gardens discussing bug basics like body types, habitats and local species. Beneficial bugs for pollination, pest control and environmental survival will be discovered. Bee buzzer craft activity.

Senses

Outdoor tour encourages scouts to experience the gardens through their senses. Texture, color, and fragrance plants are highlighted in the Walled and Rose Gardens, edible plants in the Vegetable Garden and sounds of wildlife throughout 75 acres of formal plantings. Identiflyer, feel wheel and sensory plant experimentation activities.


GIRL SCOUT JUNIOR

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Junior Girl Scout Way

Outdoor tour discusses Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low’s creation of the girl scouts and their importance to the environment. Scouts chat the concept of girl scouting as a worldwide sisterhood with shared ideals. Environmental preservation is covered as is minimal impact (“leave a place better than you found it”) and practicing its methods in natural habitats. Local redesign time capsule drawing activity.

Flowers

Outdoor tour canvases the Gardens discussing flower basics like annuals, perennials, bulbs, growth conditions and the importance of flowers in daily life. A variety of seasonal flowers are highlighted with a focus on sensory flowers and their value in horticultural therapy. Secret flower message/ floriography activity.

Gardener

Outdoor tour focuses on the inner workings of a large scale public garden. Scouts learn the basics of plant life including growth requirements in the design of “garden rooms”. Benefits of sustainable native plantings are also discussed. Take home planting experimentation activity.

Animal Habitats

Outdoor tour identifies native wildlife species like birds, fox, rabbits, etc. Endangered habitat preservation is emphasized, particularly with local LI species. The importance of people’s role in environmental sustainability is reinforced. Environmental researcher and food chain competition activities.

Playing the Past

Outdoor tour experiences the early 1900s life and times of Peggie Phipps and the Phipps family. Scouts are challenged to see the world through Peggie’s eyes and ears hearing stories of family traditions, playing games of the past and other historic fun. Paper doll fashion design activity.

Drawing

Outdoor tour focuses on plein air drawing in a beautiful garden setting. Observation and artist’s perspective in nature are practiced through the art of the sketch. Scouts create artwork that experiments with different media and explores skills of hatching and cross hatching. Botanical drawing and portfolio activities.


GIRL SCOUT CADETTE

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The Cadette Girl Scout Way

Outdoor tour discusses Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low’s creation of the girl scouts and their importance to the environment. Scouts clear an invasive species and chat its effects on the local LI ecosystem. Environmental preservation is covered as is minimal impact (“leave a place better than you found it”) and practicing its methods in natural habitats. Clear an invasive species activity.

Trailblazing

Outdoor tour conquers the idea of trailblazing the Gardens. Map skills are practiced on an unmarked terrain where girls guide themselves to a team building Gardener relay. Quick energy snack tasting activity entices scouts to try new flavors for the very first time. Scouts are encouraged to bring a camera to fulfill the “progressive story” requirement. Tasting and relay race activities.

Trees

Outdoor tour through the woodland focuses on tree identification through bark, leaf and other ornamental attributes. Basic tree biology is discussed with an emphasis on the importance of trees in people’s lives and dendrochronology- how to age a tree through its rings. Tree product tasting activity.

Animal Helpers

Outdoor tour discusses animals’ role in environmental preservation. Scouts learn how beneficial birds, insects and other local wildlife connect with people on a grand environmental scale. Animal hero stories illustrate how humanity depends on wildlife for the preservation of our future. Food chain competition activity.


GIRL SCOUT SENIOR

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Locavore

Outdoor tour discusses the gardener’s role in the food delivery chain. A Vegetable Garden visit helps girls realize food seasonality. Environmental benefits of local food sources ie. carbon footprint, allergy control, supporting local farmers are discussed. Seasonal simple dish creation and tasting activity.

Sky

Outdoor tour discusses the science of the skies. Birds, bats and other sky dwelling animals are highlighted. Girls debate recent environmental issues of air and light pollution and chat their effects on people and local wildlife. Ways to combat these issues will be brainstormed. Thaumatrope activity.

Adventurer

Outdoor tour conquers the idea of hiking the Gardens. Native floral and local ecology are discussed as are environmental issues relating to Long Island. Girls complete in a team building Gardener relay race and sample quick-energy snacks to explore the needs of adventure hikers. Scouts are encouraged to bring a digital camera to fulfill the “Capture the Adventure” requirement. Tasting and relay race activities.


CUB SCOUT ADVENTURES


Fun, hands-on guided programs offer to all levels of scouts - Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos - and provide a unique opportunity to accomplish requirements for various pins/loops.  Our indoor and outdoor based programs explore a variety of interests including nature and science, art, social studies and history.

Have a multi-level pack?  We can combine programs designed to fit your needs.

Trips must be booked in advance. Weekday after school Wednesday through Friday; and Saturdays.

COST: 
$9.00 per scout; Troop leader is admitted free of charge;
$7.00 for Non-leaders (Additional adults and children not participating in the craft/ activity) 

$75 program minimum required to book a date. 

Contact Caitlin Orellana by e-mail or at (516) 333-0048 Ext. 336 for more information or to arrange a visit. 

 

TIGER SCOUTS

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Backyard Jungle

Outdoor tour. Venture on a guided hike through the “jungle” woodland at Old Westbury Gardens. Build wildlife identification skills as you encounter common trees, plants and other wildlife found here on Long Island. Learn how you can do your part in caring for our environment, and create your very own ‘Seed Bomb!’ to launch somewhere in your neighborhood!

Tiger Bites

Outdoor tour. Learn about healthy food choices and how you can help your family during mealtimes. Visit our Vegetable Garden, discover the differences between fruits and veggies, and the importance of locally grown food. Try your hand at concocting your own healthy snack to try at home!

Tigers in the Wild

Outdoor tour. Grab the Cub Scout Six Essentials and set forth on a hike through the woods at Old Westbury Gardens. Get to know the Outdoor Code and the importance of Leave No Trace principals.


BEAR SCOUTS

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Fur, Feathers & Ferns

Outdoor tour. Explore the woodland trail at Old Westbury Gardens! Discover the wildlife and plants that live there. Even when we don’t see the animals themselves, we can always find signs of their presence! Using scientific tools, get a closer look at plants and even plant an herb or vegetable of your own to take home!


WOLF SCOUTS

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Finding Your Way

Outdoor tour. Learn how to use a compass and put your navigation skills to the test as we take part in an outdoor scavenger hunt around Old Westbury Gardens. Learn how to use a map to locate where you and your fellow scouts live!

Grow Something!

Outdoor tour. Explore the formal gardens at Old Westbury Gardens with your troop. Learn about what plants need in order to thrive in different places Create a terrarium perfectly suited for a plant friend of your own. Scouts will plant seeds of their own to care for and monitor its growth.

Paws on the Path/Call of the Wild

Outdoor tour. Grab the Cub-Scout Six Essentials and venture for a 1- mile hike through the woods of Old Westbury Gardens. Learn about the Outdoor Code and the importance of Leave No Trace Principles. Utilize the buddy system as you identify different insects, birds and other wildlife found in our woods.


WEBELO SCOUTS

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Into the Wild

Outdoor tour. Become a true ecologist as you and your troop trek through the informal woods at Old Westbury Gardens. Learn about all the components that make an ecosystem whole, from the tiniest insect to the largest tree. Put your nature skills to the test as you make a terrarium to take home.

Into the Woods

Outdoor tour. Discover what types of trees and other plants are most common to Long Island, and how both humans and wildlife use them. Gain some tree identification skills and learn how growth rings can tell the story of a trees’ life. Utilize your new knowledge to plant something in your own neighborhood!