Living Classrooms 


With over 60 acres of land and 1,200 feet of lakefront shoreline, Cradle Beach is a natural location for year-round experiential out-of-school STEM education. Living Classrooms serves children ages 5-18 to provide informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) focused programming that engages individuals to build upon existing STEM knowledge, develop creativity, and gain critical thinking skills through active learning. Living Classrooms is offered as a stand-alone program that schools and community organizations can access year-round and it is also embedded into our Summer Camp and Project SOAR programs.


We currently collaborate with:

Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership at the University of Buffalo

YWCA Western New York

West Buffalo Charter School

Cornell Cooperative Extension

WNY Stem Hub

Best Self Behavioral Health

Buffalo State College

The following activities are a select few that we have offered to groups in the past, and may be modified if need be for participants. For a complete and updated list, please email Intefada Wardia at

·        Animal Dissection - Students learn about animal physiology and anatomy through close examination of an animal specimen. (NOTE: Fish and Frogs are our most popular specimens. Any specimen request must be made 4 weeks prior to program date)

·        Animal Adaptations - Learn about animal survival and adaptations through observing mammal furs and replica skulls, and examining an owl pellet!

·        Building Bridges - Students learn about economics and budgeting through designing and building a miniature model bridge within small groups.

·        Crime Scene Investigations - Practice becoming a forensic scientist, observing differences in fingerprints and analyzing fake blood samples to identify who committed a "crime!" (NOTE: Optional DNA cheek cell extraction available)

·        Great Lakes Ecosystems - Students will use models to better understand how the Great Lakes are interconnected and will discuss ways in which we can ensure we have safe, clean water. (NOTE: Optional water quality testing available)

·        Mini-Rockets - Students use the scientific method to mix simple household combinations together to determine which combination will make a film canister rocket fly the highest!

·        Starlab - Explore the stars and constellations by entering our inflatable planetarium, where we will tell our own constellation stories!

·        The Scoop on Fossils - Students learn about how fossils are formed, what information paleontologists can obtain from fossils, and then create their own fossils to take home with them.

·        Volcanoes - Students use maps and models depicting tectonic plate movements to better understand how volcanoes form and the resulting impacts of an eruption on the surrounding environment.

·        What's In Your Sand? - Students closely observe materials on the beach to understand what sand is actually made up of, how beaches are formed, and leave with a small sand bottle to take home.

·        and much more!

We work with community schools and organizations to strengthen our program, aligning curriculum with New York State New Generation Standards and creating a fun and authentic learning environment. Occasionally we lead public, family-oriented programs on our campus and/or at local community centers. Please check our social media pages for more information regarding any upcoming programs