A strong focus on science and the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades provides the academic foundation of the Mountain School curriculum. Days are spent hiking on trails that surround the Learning Center. Hands-on educational activities along the trail introduce students to mountain ecosystems and provide an up-close look at diverse ecological communities in the North Cascades.

One of our primary goals at Mountain School is to provide anchor points within the essential practices about the nature of science by providing students with meaningful, direct experiences in the outdoors that can then apply to future learning. Crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas within Next Generation Science Standards are woven throughout our program and are based on the most current research around how people learn and practice science.

Topics of study include wildlife and ethnobotany of the North Cascades, forest ecology, biodiversity, food webs, glaciers and geology, watersheds and cultural history.