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Geokids program

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A morning of fossils, soil painting, and a lava game

Understanding our planet cannot begin too early. The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability offers second grade students from local schools a fun and engaging field trip experience on the Stanford campus. They are introduced to the "work of a geologist" with hands-on educational activities, focused on minerals, rocks, and soil. A mid-morning break offers a running game called the erupting volcano. Each student gets an official Geology Field Book to record their observations, just like real geologists. Activities are led by graduate and undergraduate students, who eagerly volunteer to express their love of geology.  

Kids playing on the lawn

Program Guidelines

Geokids is offered on Thursdays in the fall and spring. The program begins at 9:15 a.m. and runs until 11:30 a.m. Schools with 3 classes will be scheduled on one day. Schools with 4 classes will be divided and most likely partnered with another school. We can only work with so many students, so it is important that you provide the best estimate of how many students you will have. Students can only come once – we know this is a challenge with mixed grade classes. 

Application Closed for 2023-2024

  1. Applications are open only to second grade classrooms from the local area – Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside, Portola Valley, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos. Each school can only bring up to 4 classes.
    • Closed for 2023-2024!   (The application opened on Aug. 15 and closed on Wednesday September 13, 2023).
  2. A random lottery will be used when processing applications.
  3. The online application opens in mid August and closes in mid September each year. 
  4. Read the Frequently Asked Questions section so that you know what you are signing up for. 
  5. We will begin processing applications after the due date and will let you know via email by the end of September on your school's status. We will be contacting schools who prefer to come in October as soon as possible. We have put together lending kits to do Geokids activities in your classroom if you are not selected. These were designed to take the activities that we offer in Geokids on campus into the classroom. We hope that teachers who are not selected in the lottery will take advantage of these kits.
  6. We serve about 1,000 students each academic year. We believe that every young person can benefit from participating yet we are limited in our capacity.

Download handbook for lending kits

Kids playing on the lawn
Jennifer Saltzman profile

For more information about Geokids, please email Megan King, Geokids teaching assistant, at:
Geokids Director is Jennifer Saltzman,