The Cochrane Ecological Institute's Going Batty program is designed to inspire and empower youth to make connections with bats and learn ways to reduce their losses that will aid in their recovery. We encourage meaningful learning experiences with the real world that will provide youth with the tools needed to improve our ecosystem health.

This fun-filled, two part program provides a look into Cochrane Ecological Institute and the work we do to protect wildlife. The first part of the presentation is seen through pictures, videos and a bat dress-up, where youth learn about special bat features, who are our Alberta bats, how they echolocate, threats to them, and we can how to help bats.  

The second half of the presentation has youth move through four hands-on stations, with biofacts and games that focus on the following:

1. Alberta bat profiles and their anatomy compared to humans and birds

2.  Bat migration and hibernation challenges, and their life cycle.

3. Conservation problems verses conservation solutions.

4. Bat adaptations, a 'Year in the Life of a Bat' and Building & Installing a bat box. 

Program Parameters:

  • Best suited for class sizes of 25-30 students

  • Class Presentation is ~ 60 minutes in length

  • Please provide access to do a PowerPoint

  • Local Half Day morning Field Trip for water studies. Schedule dependent on school hours.

  • Parent or School volunteers (2-3) to assist for both

This class aligns with the 
Alberta curriculum for Grades 1 to 8. This program is linked to the Service Badges (Guides, Scouts, JFW) for Elementary School aged youth.

We would like to thank the Cochrane Foundation and the Calgary Foundation for their support of our program! Additionally, thank you to the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation for the use of their bat biofacts for the stations. 

To book our "Going Batty" program, please send us an email to amandacampbell2028@gmail.com.

We also express gratitude to The Alberta Bat Community Program for their many resources and guidance, especially Susan Holroyd and Cory Olson.

Finally, thanks to Melanie Whalen for her many  great 
bat pictures for the promotion and presentations for the program! 

Bats are an invaluable to both our ecosystem and economy, as they feed on insects that are harmful to ranchers, farmers and gardeners alike. They have been around for millions of years, and are found on every continent, except the Arctic and Antarctica, but like us, as mammals, they do not like extreme temperatures. Alberta has nine species of Microbats, that are small insect -eating bats, and are often seen at dusk and dawn. Microbats have poor eyesight but good hearing, allowing them to sense the size, texture and distance away of insects flying by, as well as to communicate with one another. They do this by using echolocation, or making sounds and listening to echoes, with each bat species having its own unique sound or clicks that humans can’t hear. 

Cochrane Ecological Institute is using Sound Mini-Bat Meters to record these sounds, to understand the species, distribution and population of bats in the Cochrane area. Once our research is done we will be installing multi-chamber bat colony boxes throughout Cochrane, thanks to the help of local volunteers. 

Interested in building your own bat box to support the local population? Find our guide and schematics here!


Explore the stations featured in our "Going Batty" program! 
In order of appearance:  Station 1: Anatomy & ID,  Station 2:  Migration, Life Cycle & Bats vs Birds,  Station 3: Conservation Challenges & Conservation Solutions, Plus Fun Facts and Station 4: Bat Adaptations and Building and Installing a Bat Box.


Go on a field trip to a local waterway with our educator as you explore water testing, discussion, a short hike, fun activities and an opportunity to journal!

Program Testimonials 

Reviews of our amazing GOING BATTY program!

''The pond study was great, the students were engaged, found some great things. Presenter was full of information and learning. Good mix of listening, doing and moving.'"

Ranchview School

"Seeing all the kids so engaged at the pond was great. Initially, they were reluctant to touch any of the critters in the water, but that changed with time. They were interested in handling and checking the chart of what creatures they found. They also learned a lot from the games played."

Holy Spirit School

"Students really enjoyed it and it was well connected to the Grade 5 curriculum."

Manachaban School 

"The Cochrane Ecological Institute delivered several ‘Going Batty’ presentations at Glenbow Park this summer which were thoroughly enjoyed by both the camp attendees and staff alike. The presenter had a rich depth of knowledge on bats and how they interact with the wider wildlife and habitats within the park. The resources they brought were fascinating for the children, and the way the presenter interacted with the attendees was excellent, really drawing the children into all of the presentations and activities. It was perfectly pitched for the age group."

Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation

To book our "Going Batty" program, please send us an email to greenthingsrbest@gmail.com.