As most teachers are away, learning isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience, while many students will thrive in the classroom others benefit much more from some interactive or visual options.
And field trips are a great way to keep the students engaged and interested in their specific subject matter.
It offers them a chance out of the classroom which will always be welcomed, but they are actually so much more than just a fun day out. Field trips can actually be really educational and when it comes to the subject of science, there are plenty of options to choose from.
From biology to astronomy and more, there are plenty of places that are sure to fascinate and educate your students. And many of the options below actually also offer guided tours or educational programs where your students’ learning can be further enriched.
So, if you’re in need of some science field trip inspiration, look no further, we’ve got you covered.
This is probably one of the more obvious choices, it’s like they were specifically designed for school visits. There are plenty of communities that offer these museums or centers and many of them are often interactive and very hands-on.
Students can delve into the fun and each area or exhibit will teach them more about planets, human biology, and or engineering.
You’ll find, though, that most science museums are specifically designed for certain age ranges so you’ll want to ensure that you’ve done the research on the science museum you are visiting to make sure it’s appropriate for your class.
Some are very tailored towards elementary students, but you can also find some that target older students too.
Here is a list of some of the more popular science museums:
- Giant Heart – Philadelphia
- Exploration Place – Wichita
- Museum of Nature and Science – Denver
- Michigan Science Center – Detroit
This option is probably best aimed at younger students, though I’m sure there is plenty to still be learned by middle-grade students plus too.
But children are always bewildered and taken by animals and wildlife, and there’s no better place to introduce them to different animals and species than a trip to the zoo.
Many zoos also offer educational programs or guided tours where zookeepers can talk in more depth about how the animals are cared for, what they eat, where they live, and their conservation status. You can even teach them how to differentiate between different species and more.
Here is a list of some of the popular zoos:
Very similar to the option above, aquariums also offer a fun and educational trip out for the day. They too teach about diversity in animals – just the type that lives underwater.
Aquariums are often really entertaining places to be and some even offer interactive activities where you can submerge your hands underwater and touch some aquatic animals.
Again, like the zoo, you can also find many that offer educational programs with specific science workshops or guided tours where workers can offer more insight into the life of looking after the fish.
Here is a list of some popular aquariums:
- Monterey Bay Aquarium – California
- New England Aquarium – Massachusetts
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas – Louisiana
- Shedd Aquarium – Illinois
This is another field trip option that is great for younger students. There’s no better place to learn about agriculture and animals than at a farm.
There’s plenty of opportunity to educate the students, from production processes to learning about plants and crops, there’s no end to the things they can learn about.
It also acts as a really fun experience where the children will get the chance to pet and feed the animals they are learning about as well as pick some of the fruits and vegetables that they are also learning about.
And most local farmers are more than happy to set up guided tours or educational programs, all you have to do is contact them and find out more information.
Nature centers are amazing places to learn a little more about science, especially in terms of both geology and ecology.
There are tons of beautiful destinations where you can take your students where they can hike and explore the local wildlife and flora and fauna.
Many offer interesting exhibits, walking trails, and educational programs. There are definitely tons of different lessons to be learned in these centers.
Plus, it’s great exercise for the students and allows them to get out into nature and the fresh air whilst also learning.
Some great nature centers include:
- Great Plains Nature Center – Wichita
- Lakeside Nature Center – Kansas City
- Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center – Olathe
- Bluff Lake Nature Center – Denver
Animal rescue centers are another great way to introduce your students to animal rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation. There is a lot to be learned here about different types of animals, their habitats, their behaviors, and more.
Plus, there are plenty of places that offer really great educational tours for school field trips.
They’ll basically do all the heavy lifting for the teachers, as they educate the students on everything they need to know in terms of biodiversity and conservation tactics.
Here are a few of the best humane society programs based in animal rescue:
- Marine Mammal Center – California
- Carolina Tiger Rescue – North Carolina
- The National Aquarium – Baltimore
Botanical gardens offer a really interesting and insightful day out that is perfect for high school students. Here you can learn about many scientific subjects such as flowers, birds, rocks, and ecology.
Many of the botanical gardens offer educational programs that help to aid further learning – some of which can be quite advanced if you’re up for the challenge.
If you don’t have any botanical gardens nearby, community gardens can also work just as well as they learn about all the aspects of gardening and the plant-growing processes.
They also usually offer information on composting and farm-to-table cooking too.
Some of the best botanical gardens include:
- Frederik Meijer Garden – Grand Rapids
- Adelaide Botanic Garden – New York City
- United States Botanic Garden – Washington DC
Water treatment facilities may not sound like the most exciting field trips in the world, but they can be incredibly informative for students. There is tons of information to learn here as students learn the processes required to acquire safe drinking water.
There will be more in-depth details on how bacteria are killed along with aerating and getting rid of waste.
Usually, these types of trips can be scheduled by talking to your local government and guided tours, or educational programs can also be offered.
Technically, I suppose these could have been mentioned while we touched on science museums as many planetariums are found in these centers. However, they are so fun, interesting, and informative that they definitely deserve their very own section.
Planetariums are a really great way to get students more interested in space and astronomy. These large cinemas are very visually appealing and stimulating making them great options for visual learners.
The more cinematic approach to offering up information about space is also much more engaging for students and they’ll definitely learn a lot while enjoying the day.
Here are some of the best planetariums to try:
This is a great option to use whatever resources are available close by. Each different environment can be related to some aspect of science so it’s the perfect option. For example, if you live near a beach visit it and learn more about shells, rocks, and fossils.
If you live in a desert area, take a trip and get up close and personal with the plant life around you. Live near a lake? Look at the wildlife nearby.
You can easily make the most of the natural resources available and apply them to your lesson plans as appropriate and applicable.
There isn’t a more interactive and fun way for students to learn about weather than to visit a local weather station. Contacting the National Weather Service is a great way to go about planning this kind of trip.
The great thing about the NWS is that you can do both in-person or virtual trips where students can ask any questions related to weather basics. From the basics such as hurricanes, winter weather, and tornadoes to space weather and more information about meteors – they offer it all.
As you can see, when it comes to science field trips there are plenty of different places you can choose from regardless of the scientific subject or age range of the students.
Many of the trips offer cinematic or hands-on learning experiences too which are really beneficial for students that don’t tend to benefit as much from classroom-based learning.
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