About Natural Inquirer

About the Natural Inquirer Program 

The Natural Inquirer program produces a variety of science education materials for PreK through grade 12. Natural Inquirer products are produced by the USDA Forest Service, FIND Outdoors, and other cooperators and partners


For High School & Middle School

Natural Inquirer is a free science education journal written for middle through high school age students. In 1998, Natural Inquirer was created so that scientists could share their research with students. Each article follows the same format as a scientific journal article by including an Introduction, Methods, Findings, and Discussion section. Additionally, each article has a Meet the Scientist section, Thinking About Science section, Thinking About the Environment section, and a FACTivity. The FACTivity is a hands-on activity that reinforces a concept from the article. All articles are correlated to National Education Standards.

 Check out this brief video for more information:



For Upper Elementary School Students

Investi-gator is a free science journal written for upper elementary level students. The journal follows the same format as Natural Inquirer just written at a different level. Currently, three editions of Investi-gator are available.

 Check out this brief video for more information:



For PreK through 2nd Grade Students

The Natural Inquirer Reader series was developed to meet the needs of PreK through 2nd grade students. Each Reader focuses on one USDA Forest Service scientist and their research. Readers contain glossaries, activities, and are correlated to National Education Standards. Lesson plans are available online for the Readers. Additionally, a “Bee” A Scientist coloring book is available.

For Outdoor Education Facilities & Nonformal Education Settings

NSI: Nature Science Investigator was created as an outreach to nonformal education settings such as campgrounds and environmental education facilities. NSI introduces students to different types of natural resource scientists and then provides activities for the students to conduct activities similar to that type of scientist. For example, the students meet an ornithologist and then engage in a birding activity.

Find out more about the USDA Forest Service.

Find out more about FIND Outdoors.