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Middle School Workshops

A leader in environmental education, QBG welcomes students across New York City and beyond to our 39-acre living museum. Our hands-on workshops for Pre-K through High School learners cover a myriad of topics from Honeybees to Biomes, and our instructors are noted for their wealth of knowledge about plants, animals, and insects as well as sustainable design and environmental stewardship principles.

The Edible WildAvailable October, late March through May. This is a 2-hour workshop.Before the advent of agriculture humans made their living by hunting for animals and foraging for plants in their environment. Return to our roots through a look at the edible plants that surround us in our environment—New York City. In this workshop students explore the Garden grounds and distinguish edible plants from ones that can be used for dyes or even medicine, learn to identify them and the conditions that permit collecting. The workshop concludes with a tasting of gathered seasonal plants.

Energy: You Move Me

Be moved by the amazing journey energy takes as it transforms from one form to another; explore the plant adaptations that make them the base of every food chain and how people are learning from their example; create and reinforce the connections between energy use and environmental consequences. This workshop uses a combination of indoor investigations and outdoor exploration to enhance classroom curricula to enhance students’ understanding of various sources of energy and processes that humans use to generate electricity.
Made possible with support from the Louis Calder Foundation.

Environmental Modeling

These are 2-hour workshops.
Scientists use environmental modeling to recreate complex ecosystems for study and experimentation. In these workshops students explore a rainforest or a desert ecosystem in order to learn about what makes those ecosystems unique. Students then create models that exhibit the same properties and use plants that adapted for survival in these biomes.
Please choose one:
Rainforest Ecosystem—explore how plants cope with excess water and severe sun competition.
Desert Ecosystem—explore the plant adaptations for surviving water scarcity and sun burns.

Plant PropagationThis is a 2 hour workshop.Plants survive, grow, and multiply all around us, sometimes in very unusual ways. Students explore how plants use various reproductive adaptations in nature and how humans learned to use those adaptations for their own benefit. Students create a miniature greenhouse with a selection of propagated plants to take home.

Pollinators in the GardenAvailable April–OctoberExamine the ecological importance of various pollinators in plant reproduction, evolution, and survival. Through models, visual aids and more, explore the unique life cycle of honeybees, their social system, and ways of responding to and communicating information about their environment. Observe active hives in QBG’s Bee Garden and watch bees visiting flowers. Students will enjoy tasting a drop of honey. Make a beeswax candle to take home with you (optional with additional fee).

Trash to Treasure

There are millions of people that live in NYC and on a daily basis they all make garbage. In this workshop the students look at lessons we can take from nature’s decomposers and apply them to our garbage. With the aid of basic data, students will determine how to calculate how much waste NYC makes, its environmental impact, and how we can use worms and recycling to help reduce both. Learn how to care for your own worm bin and bring one back to explore in your classroom (optional with additional fee).

Urban JungleWild plants—what some people call weeds—have ecological importance. Explore QBG and see how our meadows and bioswales of wild plants and flowers help prevent flooding and erosion while nurturing the soil and providing habitat. Using specialized field guides students will collect, display and identify specimens, record their observations and measurements, and design their own herbarium pages for further botanical observation.

Water: Round & Round It GoesBring your students on a journey of discovery focusing on the vital importance of water and how environments—either natural or man-made—offer ecological and economic services that clean water and slow down and absorb storm water. In this program students learn about the water cycle, the interdependence of living things in the non-living environment, and the consequences of human activity. Students visit the Garden’s U.S. Green Building Council Platinum LEED® certified building and associated landscapes for hands-on experiences, create a wetland model and apply it to city living in an urban planning exercise.Made possible with support from the Louis Calder Foundation.

To register, email or call 718.886.3800 ext. 230.


For information about all workshops and tours we offer, please see our Environmental Workshops & Tours Guide.


Hours & Directions | Press Room | Copyright 2006 Queens Botanical Garden | 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355 | 718.886.3800 |
Support to QBG given by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs