Welcome to Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School.
Please look around, we hope you enjoy your stay.

“The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you could imagine. That beautiful, warm living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart.”

– James Irwin, U.S. Astronaut

Heather MacDougall Molloy, Director Outside Science Program

Heather MacDougall Molloy,

Outdoor Science School Site
(831) 722-8222
(831) 466-5715 – SCCOE
(831) 466-5946 – FAX

Dr. Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Faris Sabbah,

Santa Cruz County
Office of Education
400 Encinal Street
Santa Cruz, California 95060

Welcome to Santa Cruz County Resident Outdoor Science School, a school without walls or desks, sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The Outdoor Science School experience is available to fifth and/or sixth-grade students accompanied by their classroom teacher who spends four or five days living on site.

Classes are conducted in the forest, at the edge of the creek, in the chaparral, and in the meadow. The most useful tools for learning are readily available: the students’ five senses. The subject area most emphasized in this hands-on learning experience is the science of ecology, the relationship between living things and their environment. From an understanding of basic ecological concepts, it is hoped that a deeper concern and sense of responsibility for the environment will result.

A second and equally important outcome of the program is the social aspect. The 3 Rs are emphasized, respect, responsibility, and reliability, and are reinforced through the sharing of chores and small group living. Sharing cabin living encourages making new friends and dealing with problems as they occur. The students are also encouraged to understand the importance of a positive attitude and the value of being willing to adapt to new settings and situations.

Another value of the program is the opportunity for supervised leadership training and community service offered to high school students who serve as cabin leaders. Information regarding this program can be found on the numerous pages throughout our web site. Have fun! For directions to our Outdoor Science School view our map.

The classroom is not always a room

Partnership Opportunities

In this challenging economy with extensive budget cuts in education at the State level, school districts are finding it difficult to provide anything beyond the basics to students. The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is seeking corporate partnerships to help meet the critical need to provide students with hands-on science and real-world learning experiences. With your help we can inspire students to become lifelong learners of the natural world. Students are able to gain a richer understanding and appreciation of nature and leave the Outdoor Science School as ambassadors for the environment.

Sunlight streaming through redwood trees

The Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School maintains a certification from the California Outdoor School Association (COSA),
a statewide network of outdoor schools and faculty that are managed by local educational agencies (LEAs)