University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

Homeschool Programs

Science options are often limited for homeschool students once they reach middle school and high school grade levels. Why not come do science at Cedar Creek, where you have the opportunity to explore many different topics alongside professional scientists and their experiments? Homeschool programs for ages 12-18 are offered on the second Thursday of each month from 10am - 3pm.

Homeschool programs are currently on hold due to the coronavirus. Spring programs are cancelled in accordance with University guidance to suspend public events through the end of June. Thank you for your understanding.


We are thrilled to offer our high-quality education offerings to the homeschool community! Each month focuses on a specific topic studied by world-class researchers at Cedar Creek, and provides the opportunity to go in depth into subjects of importance to the world, to our research community, and to society as a whole. Instruction is provided by Cedar Creek's seasoned naturalists, and each session offers the opportunity to experience life as a scientist. You will spend time indoors and out, conducting hand-on investigations, meeting scientists, visiting long-term scientific experiments, and exploring nature. Come prepared to be outside in the dirt, regardless of the weather!

Classes are drop-off; parents do not attend the class with their student. We are happy to provide suggestions on places to go for a hike, go shopping or grab a cup of coffee and get some work done while your student is learning with us! Please note as well that no tobacco use or pets (except service animals) are allowed outside of vehicles on the Cedar Creek property, including the buildings, parking lots and nature trail. Learn more about Cedar Creek's mission and legacy here.


2019-2020 topics

September 12th:     Bison and Savannas

October 10th:          Soil Ecology

November 14th:      Stream Ecology I

December 12th:      Math in Nature

January 9th:           Astronomy

February 13th:       Pond Mapping

March 12th:            Winter Ecology

April 9th:                Stream Ecology II

May 14th:               Water Quality and Macroinvertebrates

June 11th:              Habitat Biodiversity



Register for one or more classes

Students must be at least 12 years old to participate. Pre-registration and payment is required, and we reserve the right to cancel classes with fewer than 5 students registered. Click here to register online! If this is your first time registering with the U's Destiny One Registration System, you will need to create a Family Profile to register your minor children. Click here for a step-by-step tutorial of how to create a family profile and register for classes. Make sure that the contact person on the Family Profile is an adult with a working email address so that we can communicate with you about the courses you have enrolled your student(s) in!

Fees and Cancellation Policy

Classes are $18 per student per session, and must be paid in advance. Secure online payment is available via our registration website; if you need to pay by cash or check please email Caitlin ( Fees are refundable (minus a $1 per class service charge) up to 7 days in advance of the class start date. If cancelling less than 7 days in advance, no refunds are available as we are generally unable to fill your student's spot on the roster.

Planning Guide

Resources to help you and your students prepare for a successful visit.

Parent and Student Testimonials

"Cedar Creek has been extremely enjoyable. Not just because of the study of the natural world right here (as opposed to some fascinating but far away biome), but also because it’s an awesome group of people I get to hang out with for most of a day. I haven’t really been part of a group of homeschoolers who all just do something for an entire day like that."

"My daughter has shared information she learned at each and every one of Cedar Creek's programs. She especially enjoyed showing us how to hold dragonflies and damselflies and how to distinguish between different varieties. She's now exploring how to volunteer with the Minnesota Dragonfly Society."

"The classes were well thought out and provided an opportunity to collaborate with other students, and it provided hands-on learning experiences."

"It’s the only ongoing hands on science opportunity at a research facility that I have found. It is also the only one that is geared towards high school aged students. We have found the program to be very high quality and a great value for the price."

"[My son] is paying more attention to the nature around him, paw prints, bones and skulls of dead animals, etc!"


Have you taken a homeschool class with us? We want your feedback!

Providing educational, impactful programs is important to us. We welcome feedback, both formal and informal, about our programs so that we can improve on the experiences and content we offer! You can always email Caitlin Potter ( with your thoughts on the programs. We also invite both parents and students to fill out the anonymous, confidential questionnaires found at the links below. 

Parent feedback questionnaire

Student feedback questionnaire


Help us spread the word about our homeschool opportunities!

Click here for a flyer you can distribute in your community.