The Arizona Game and Fish Department Homeschool Program is part of the Focus Wild Arizona wildlife education program. Our goal is to provide enriching field experiences for homeschool families that will immerse students of all ages in outdoor recreation and real science.
Past opportunities have included kayaking, bald eagle banding, bat viewing, elk collaring, digital photography, night herping, fishing, desert tortoise monitoring, and urban bird watching.
Beginning in 2014, we started to offer a monthly programs at the improved and expanded Hirsch Conservation Education Area located at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. In addition to these regularly scheduled programs, we still offer unique "in the field" experiences around the state as they become available! As usual, all of these events are free to participate. We do ask, however, that adults attend the programs with their children.
Our 2014 schedule is concluding. However, we have just finished scheduling the 2015 programs. You can see the list below. We will be opening up registration on a quarterly basis, with the first three opening around 10am on Friday, December 12. Check back at that time to register. You can also subscribe to our Homeschool email listserv below to get timely updates and information. We also provide updates at our Focus Wild Facebook page.
NEW: Because of the popularity of these programs, we are making some changes to the registration process. In the past, programs filled up in under one minute. This makes it difficult for all of the people who want to participate. As a result, we will be implementing a lottery system. Registration for each program will open at the designated date and time. Registration will remain open for a 24 hour time period. After registration closes, a random drawing will be held to select the participants. Each family who registers will have an equal chance of being drawn. Only those that have been accepted and those who are placed on the waiting list will be contacted following the drawing.
All events with registration currently open are indicated by a HIGHLIGHTED link. Those that have been closed are indicated by RED ITALICS.
- December 18, 2014 - ENCORE Program: Introduction to Geocaching and the Science of GPS - All Ages (REGISTRATION CLOSED)
- January 24, 2015 - Wildlife Management Career Exploration Panel - High School/College (INFORMATION HERE)
- March 27, 2015 - Youth Day at the Outdoor Expo - All Ages (INFORMATION HERE)
- April 22, 2015 - Earth Day: Wildlife Conservation Stories - All Ages (DETAILS SOON)
Each month, we offer a program at the Hirsch Conservation Education Area located at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in north Phoenix. Participant age levels may vary.
The 2015 schedule for these programs is below. Dates and topics are subject to change.
Registration is required to participate. Registration for new programs opens on a quarterly basis. Registration will only be open for 24 hours. Yes, a separate registration is required for each program.
- Wednesday, January 7 - Exploring Nature with Leopold - All Ages (REGISTRATION CLOSED)
- Friday, February 13 - Owls of Arizona - All Ages (REGISTRATION CLOSED)
- Friday, March 6 - Watchable Wildlife and Optics - All Ages (REGISTRATION CLOSED)
- Friday, April 10 - Macroinvertebrate Mayhem with Arizona Project WET - Ages 10+ (REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 10 @ 10AM)
- Wednesday, May 13 - Counting and Tracking Wildlife - All Ages (REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 10 @ 10AM)
- Thursday, June 11 - Reptiles of Arizona - All Ages (REGISTRATION OPENS MARCH 10 @ 10AM)
- Thursday, July 9 - Exploring Predator/Prey Relationships through Owl Pellets - All Ages (REGISTRATION OPENS IN JUNE)
- Wednesday, August 12 - Mammals of Arizona - All Ages (REGISTRATION OPENS IN JUNE)
- Friday, September 4 - Scavengers of the Sky - All Ages (REGISTRATION OPENS IN JUNE)
- Thursday, October 15 - Basic Digital Photography - Ages 10+ (REGISTRATION OPENS IN SEPTEMBER)
- Wednesday, November 18 - Introduction to Geocaching and the Science of GPS - All Ages (REGISTRATION OPENS IN SEPTEMBER)
- Thursday, December 10 - Field Notes and Nature Journals - All Ages (REGISTRATION OPENS IN SEPTEMBER)
Receive Email Updates about Homeschool Program
Receive free e-mail updates about upcoming events and other information about our Homeschool Program, click here.
The Homeschool Program is funded through The Heritage Fund, a voter-passed initiative, which started in 1990 to further conservation efforts in the state, including protecting endangered species, educating children about wildlife, helping urban residents to better coexist with wildlife, and creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation. Funding comes from Arizona Lottery ticket sales.
"I want to thank AZ Game and Fish for providing these hands-on learning opportunities for my homeschool children. I want my kids to know what is being done to protect and preserve wildlife here in AZ. There is nothing better than for them to be able to participate in these activities and see it first hand." - Parent participant, Turkey release, 2009
"It was very fun and educational, and I'd be willing to do that again." - Youth participant, Nonnative turtle trapping, 2012
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