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Education > Montana WILD Educator Resources

At Montana WILD, we aim to support teachers in getting quality conservation education into classrooms. Together we can encourage students to learn about Montana’s fish and wildlife and become inspired to enjoy, value and conserve those natural resources. Check out the resources below including upcoming professional development opportunities, in-person and virtual field trips and more. 

Montana WILD Field Trips

Schools and youth groups may visit Montana WILD and participate in a variety of conservation education programs, free of charge. All schools and groups are welcome to visit the center and explore the exhibit hall but Montana WILD only provides organized educational programs for 4th-12th grades. If you have students 3rd grade and younger, check out the "Growing up WILD " tab below.

If you wish to bring your school or youth group to Montana WILD, read the below program descriptions, then visit our calendar. Click “Make Reservation” and select the date and time you would like to visit the center. Make sure to include which programs you would like to participate in. A member of our staff will review the reservation request and will be in contact regarding a schedule, permission slips, and other details of your visit.

NOTE: If you want our staff to provide programs, please schedule your visit a minimum of 2 weeks ahead of time, otherwise we may not be able to accommodate. 


  • Meet the Mammals

This program seeks to create an awareness of, and appreciation for, mammals that live in Montana and increase understanding about their habitat needs. During this activity students will learn about and present on different families of Montana mamamls. They will end the lesson with a game in which they will give and use clues such as diet, habitat, and physical features to identify mammals.

(One hour)

  • The Science Behind Wildlife Management

Students learn about the importance of science, math and technology in wildlife management, the crucial role the public plays in managing our state's fish and wildlife, and what it is like to be a wildlife or fish biologist. (45 minutes) (inside)

  • Fish Math- mark recapture survey

Students utilize team work, problem solving and math skills by participating in a mark recapture survey, where they take on the roles of fisheries biologist and determine how many fish live in a river. (45 minutes) (inside) (5th grade+)

  • Science Field Investigations

Students learn about the kinds of questions that guide field investigations and then conduct  one of the following field investigations (45 minutes):

  • Bird survey: follow a transect around Spring Meadow Lake and collect data on which bird species you observe. The data collected will be entered into the citizen science website, eBird, and will contribute to a data set used by birders and scientists across the globe.
  • Macro invertebrates study: Macroinvertebrates respond to many kinds of pollution, and therefore are useful in indicating the health of water bodies. Students will use nets, magnifying glasses and other tools to sample and observe these small species and use their findings to evaluate the health of Spring Meadow Lake or nearby Ten Mile Creek. (This can be a two hour long program in which students evaluate both the creek and lake and compare findings of each)
  • Montana Fish

Ever wonder what the biggest fish in Montana is, the state fish or the rarest? During this fun interpretive talk, learn basic facts about Montana’s native & non-native fish species, their adaptations, and the unique ecosystems they depend upon. This program features replicas and parts from all sorts of fish species. (45 minutes)

  • Living With Wildlife

Required if using our Travel and Transportation Grant. Students learn about how they can help conserve Montana wildlife, minimize human-wildlife conflict, and safely recreate outdoors. Choose from bears, mountain lions, wolves or keeping wildlife wild. (45 minutes)

Keeping Wildlife Wild

Students learn about the difference between domestic and wild animals, orphaned and injured wildlife, wildlife safety, and the crucial role they play in keeping wildlife wild. (45 minutes)(inside).

  • Montana Wildlife Scavenger Hunt

Students study many species of wildlife that live in Montana through an interactive scavenger hunt in the exhibit hall. (45 minutes)

  • Raptors of Montana

Learn about the amazing raptor species that call Montana home. We will investigate what makes raptors unique from other types of birds and why they are so important to our ecosystems. You will also get a chance to meet live raptors from the Montana WILD Wildlife Rehabilitation Center! One program per visit. Program can be held for up to 75 students. (45 minutes)

  • Fish Dissection

Learn about and observe the external and internal anatomy of fish during this dissection. (Hour and a half to 2 hours needed for program) (5th grade and up).

  • Archery

Learn the fundamentals of archery. Archery coaches will walk you through the basics of how to shoot using a Mathews Genesis bow and Easton Arrows at the Montana Wild archery range. 

  • Fishing

Try your luck off Spring Meadow Lake’s fishing dock. Instructors will review the basics of safely and effectively catching fish. (45 min.)

  • Taxidermy: Past and Present

This unique living history program explores the art and science of taxidermy past and present, and its role in wildlife education and preservation. Students have an opportunity to discuss and reflect upon diversity of wildlife values and will gain and appreciation for the challenges in wildlife management for all.  (45 min.)

Reptiles and Amphibians

What exactly is the difference between reptiles and amphibians? How many turtle species are native to Montana? Which snake has a pointy snout perfect for digging up toads? In this talk we will dip our toes into the exciting world of herpetology and learn about the reptile and amphibian species that call Montana home. (45 min.)

  • Bats of Montana 

Learn about the bat species that live in Montana, their adaptations, habitat requirements, and why we should all be glad to have them around. Lesson will be followed by 2 activities in which you will follow the migratory journey of bats and try to forage for insects! (45 min.)

Upcoming Teacher Professional Development Trainings

Upcoming Project WILD Workshops -

All of these trainings include: 

  • Overview of curriculum guides and how to use them.
  • OPI Renewal credits
  • Hands on learning and fun 

August 6 | 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Havre Middle School, 1441 11th St., Havre MT. More details here

August 7 | 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. | Culbertson School, 423 1st Ave W, Culbertson MT. More details here

August 19 | 4  - 11 p.m. | Montana WILD, 2668 Broadwater Ave., Helena, MT. More details here

Upcoming Growing up WILD Workshops -

Growing up WILD curriculum is written especially for early childhood educators of children ages 3-7.

June 22 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Montana Kids Daycare, 1105 Campbell Road, Bozeman MT. More details here


Conservation Field School for Teachers

June 20-22 
Jack Creek Preserve Outdoor Education Center, Ennis

Ignite student interest in science using current challenges in wildlife management by enriching K-12 curriculum, developing wildlife-focused problem-solving and scientific inquiry activities, and decreasing teacher lesson/classroom preparation. More details here.

For more information and to register, contact Ryan Schmaltz at 444-9946 or

Montana outdoors Literacy Program

Our literacy program is a science and conservation literacy program for middle and high school students. The program consists of literacy evaluation tools that pair with articles from FWP’s magazine, Montana Outdoors. The evaluations are created by Montana teachers, for Montana teachers and cover a huge range of natural science and conservation topics. Check out a full list of articles and eval tools here.

Virtual Education Programs

4th-12th grade classrooms can sign up for a virtual lesson with one of our experts on a variety of topics. Most programs can be catered to your class length (30 minutes to an hour) unless otherwise noted.

These programs are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from November 15th-March 15th. To sign up for a virtual program, email Jeanne Connolly with a preferred date, time and topic and we will get back to you will our availability.

Select from the following:

  • Raptors of Montana

Learn about the amazing raptor species that call Montana home and their importance to our ecosystems. Meet a live raptor!

  • Owl pellet Dissection:

We will send enough pellets for your whole class to dissect. Learn about owl pellets and what they can tell scientists about owl behavior and ecology. Also learn about owls and their adaptations and meet a live owl! You can then dissect the pellets as a class whenever works best for you.

  • Introduction to birding and Montana eBird: Need 45 min.

Learn the basics of citizen science and birding and how to enter your birding observations into Montana eBird, an online database for bird observations! Also learn to identify some of the most common birds in Montana.

You can pick up a binocular trunk from your local FWP regional office or state park, then go and try out your new birding skills!

  • Wildlife Trivia: Need 45 min.

Test your knowledge of Montana’s wildlife species during this fun and engaging program! Three rounds of 5 questions. Questions will be pulled from our Wildlife Wednesday Playlist. 

Teams will keep track of their own scores and we ask that teachers assist with this part. Please get the students set up with whiteboards, zoom chat, and whatever else you may need.

  • Fish of Montana:

Ever wonder what the biggest fish in Montana is, the state fish or the rarest? Learn basic facts about Montana’s native & non-native fish species, and their unique adaptations during a fun interpretative talk featuring replicas and parts from all sorts of fish species.

  • Living in Bear Country:

Do you know how to avoid having a bear encounter? Have you ever wondered what to do if you do have one? Join us for a presentation covering the basics of bear biology, behavior, and skills for living in bear country. You'll learn about the foods bears eat, what they are doing at different times of the year, and how you can help keep them wild. 

  • Reptiles and Amphibians:

Learn about the Reptile and Amphibian species that call Montana home, and even meet some of these species!

  • Bats of Montana:

Learn about the bat species that live in Montana, their adaptations, habitat requirements, and why we should all be glad to have them around.

Montana Wild Transportation & Lodging Grant

We are now accepting applications for the 2024/25 school year. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 31st. Awarded funding can be utilized from August 2024 through June of 2025. 


Montana WILD offers a transportation and lodging grant for Montana schools (4th-12th grades) to visit the Montana WILD Education Center and participate in a day of conservation education programs. The goal of this grant program is to assist “outlying” (50 plus miles from Helena) schools to come and learn at Montana WILD. 

Learn about the grant and how to apply