Texas Tech University

Curriculum & Activities

The Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) provides STEM-based curriculum that incorporates hands-on, inquiry-based learning aligned with the state-mandated curriculum that teaches K-12 students science through use of the outdoor environment. The curriculum was developed in partnership with Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Tech's T-STEM Center, Lower Colorado River Authority, the National Park Service, and school districts. With over 20 content areas to choose from, a specialized schedule can be made to meet your school's environmental education needs.

Aquatic Biology

Students will use a multitude of tools to collect data and macroinvertebrates to determine the water quality of the South Llano River in this hands-on field study.

Understanding Watersheds

Students will build a watershed model, interact with a rainfall simulator, and learn about water cycles. This is followed by a field investigation to learn about the riparian zone, its plants, and how they affect the South Llano River.


Discover the phases of the moon, and relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun. Identify constellations and use a telescope to look at the night's sky.

Night Predation

Dissect an owl pellet and learn about the adaptations of the great horned owl, before going on an evening hike to look for owls and other nocturnal creatures.


Learn hands-on about the native species at the center as we identify and discover their interconnected relationships and their adaptations to the environment.


A field adventure where students use geologic tools to learn about minerals, sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rock and their characteristics. Students mine, collect, and test their own rock from a local geological landmark.


Using the three C's (communication, cooperation, and commitment) students learn to function together as a group to accomplish goals on our low ropes course.

Quail CSI

An in-depth investigation of animal adaptations as students take the role of a wildlife biologist investigating the predation of quail nests by looking for clues.


Students will examine the interconnection of life and develop an appreciation for the effects on human actions.


Apply concepts about electricity and energy to build a variety of electrical circuits using renewable and nonrenewable resources.


Learn the wonder of the butterfly's lifecycle and adaptations before embarking on an outdoor adventure capturing butterflies.


A scavenger hunt designed to apply compass and map skills.

Field Ornithology

After studying bird anatomy, students will go into the field to observe and identify Texas Hill Country birds.

Quail Necropsy

Students will examine and identify the internal structures of a bobwhite quail.

Wind Energy

Students are engineers in discussion of the pros and cons of energy sources before building and testing their own wind turbine model.

Advanced Pedology

Students use the scientific method and tools to examine properties of soil and the vegetation it sustains.

Advanced Watersheds

Study land/water interface and discover the importance of a healthy riparian.

Solar Energy

This unit focuses on harnessing the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells and electronic equipment.

Stream Flow

Students become hydrologists and use integrated science and mathematics to determine the velocity of the South Llano River.


Are you or your school interested in learning in the great outdoors?

We would love to have you! Contact us today to learn about how you can take advantage of the education opportunities at the Junction Outdoor Learning Center.

Contact Us Today!

TTU Center at Junction