SCICON is the Outdoor School of Science and Conservation operated by Tulare County Office of Education. SCICON is located eight miles above Springville in the foothills of eastern Tulare County at an elevation between 2000 and 3500 feet above sea level. Within this 1100-acre campus are many miles of hiking trails, a museum of natural history, planetarium, observatory, raptor center and amphitheater for evening activities. Twenty cabins adorn the campus as housing for students, teachers and staff. Meals take place in the spacious John Muir Lodge.
Outdoor Science and Conservation Education at SCICON
An instructional staff of over 20 individuals will introduce your child to the beauty of nature and the importance of caring for and conserving our natural resources. The majority of the instruction takes place "on the trail" as students study animal and plant life, geology, astronomy, Native American and pioneer history, as well as the interdependence of all living things. Learning is firsthand and experiential as students use dip nets to search for aquatic insects in the stream, visit the quartz mine to search for quartz crystals or view the heavens through the large SCICON telescope. The SCICON curriculum is an important part of your child's education supplementing the curriculum of the California State Department of Education. Your child is not taking a week off from school, rather his or her classroom is just being expanded to the 1100-acre outdoor classroom at SCICON. Mixed in with this environmental education curriculum are many important social and experiential activities. Night hikes, campfire programs, hiking the Sky Trail and skit night are just some of the many activities which make SCICON an unforgettable experience.
In 1955, SCICON was only a dream of educators, parents and community members. Since that time, the efforts of thousands of persons throughout the valley have turned that dream into a reality. Clemmie Gill donated the original 35 acres to the project in 1957. School districts, communities and dedicated individuals then rolled up their sleeves and started to work. Student cabins, dining facilities, roads, hiking trails and instructional areas were all built through the efforts of volunteer labor. The "Acres For SCICON" drive in 1962 increased the total campus size to nearly 1100 acres and helped to insure the natural beauty of the area for generations to come.
Today, SCICON serves over 20,000 students and visitors each year and is an exemplary program for environmental education in the western United States. Our motto is "SCICON is people working together." This has certainly proved true as people have worked together to create this "once in a lifetime" experience for their children called SCICON.