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At Discover Cayuga Lake, we are all about education. We work with teachers year round in partnership with our Trout in the Classroom and Floating Classroom programs. As nature-lovers, many of us spent our childhood digging in the dirt and splashing in streams. Now, working as environmental educators, we aim to develop students’ curiosity about the natural world to guide their own learning.

Students in our Trout in the Classroom program are responsible for raising trout all year long that they release into local streams in the spring. Participants in Floating Classroom cruises collect plankton samples with a plankton net, gather aquatic plants, and examine microbes in lake sediment. We are all about experiential, hands-on learning! Hands-on activities engage a child’s senses, teach them about the world and inspire their curiosity. After a program, students have the tools they need to continue exploring on their own and in classrooms with their teachers. Students can connect what they observe on the lake to what they’ve learned about biology or chemistry, even math and art, in the classroom.

Learning about natural history is a great way to develop an appreciation for the natural world. Only by understanding the intricacy and fragility of ecosystems can we begin to protect them. Our public eco-cruises offer interpretive programming for all ages as well! Visitors on The Teal can observe our thriving Osprey population, help spot invasive species that threaten our lake and participate in citizen science efforts to document harmful algal blooms (HABs). All of this while spending time with family and friends and enjoying the beautiful views and airy breezes!

As a great big thank you to all teachers, we are offering 50% off gift cards to elementary and high school teachers in February as part of the Ithaca Loves Teachers celebration, organized yearly by VisitIthaca! Gift Cards can be used by teachers or their friends and family and can be redeemed for individual cruises or Lake Lover Season Passes. Please visit this page for details.

We look forward to hands-on learning, and relaxing, with you on our cruises this summer!