General Science and Teaching

Field Trips

Author Post
Jessica Philipp Jessica Philipp 5479 Points

Hello, I'm a Pre-Service Teacher in Iowa.  I am curious to know what science-led field trips you have planned for your classroom?  How did you introduce the field trip?  Any tips you would like to share on preparing a science-led field trip?  

Rachel Steadman Rachel Steadman 220 Points

Hi Jessica! I am currently a student teacher in 2nd grade. We recently took a field trip to our city's Children's Museum. There were tons of different hands on activities for them to engage in over a broad subject matter. However, they did have some wonderful areas for science specifically. One part of our Children's museum has a place called "force works" where the children can use basically a large cauldron that rushes water through the entire exhibit! The children can see how the force of the waves move whatever the put in the cauldron. In addition to this, there were areas where the children were able to see the life cycle of certain animals, specifically chicks. These are just a few of the science-related exhibits there are, but it was a great way to get the students more engaged and interested in how science works!

Tracy Galle Tracy Galle 660 Points

Hi Jessica, I am a first semester student teacher for a 5th grade class in Houston, Texas. Living in a large city affords our students many opportunities for meaningful field trip experiences. One place I have visited in the past that is an excellent field trip location is The Houston Museum of Natural Science. There students can experiences dinosaurs fossils, natural gems, local plant and wildlife exhibits, as well as touring exhibits that may be passing through at any particular time. Furthermore, attached to the museum is The Cockrell Butterfly Center. Students can view and even touch dozens of species of butterflies and view them in there natural habitat as they walk through a man made tropical forest. The Museum also has programs set up specifically for field trips. They will take the students on a tour and pass along information about each exhibit. I am sure that there are probably some centers, perhaps agricultural, in your area that would welcome a tour and would be glad to teach the students about day to day operations that can be applied to a science lesson. Also, if you are near Dubuque, I think there is a National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. I am sure they do tours. Good Luck.

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 64325 Points

Hi Jessica, 

What is your area of specialization? 

At my current position (a high school in rural Kansas), I am the only science teacher.  I've taken all my students on several different kinds of field trips depending on the subject matter.  They can be used as a culmination of a unit or to introduce new information. Typically, all of the field trips we take have something to do with the content we are studying. My district requires that I tie our trips to a learning objective.  

For instance, in Earth Science, at the beginning of the term, we take a field trip to a local site that is rich with fossils.  Students document the site and learn about how scientists map a road cut. We collect samples and use the samples we have collected for our next two units. To prepare students for the field trips, they learn to behave at the field site and also some of the methodology we use to collect samples. Over the next two months, students further their learning by determining the chemical composition of the rocks they collected in the following unit. Then they add that information to their field site description. Next, they analyze the fossils collected to better understand what life was like at different periods in time.  

I get a lot of mileage from this field trip and it helps students see relationships between geology, chemistry, and biology.


Toneka Bussey Toneka Bussey 1928 Points



I'm a 5th grade science teacher in GA.  We study landforms as one of our units and it's common to visit Stone Mountain or the Watershed Dept. The Watershed Dept has water tables and often teach lessons on erosion.  Other grade levels who study habitats or landforms also visit the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  I think there are endless possibilities for field trips, as a suggestion I would look at the units along with the scope and sequence before identifying any field trips.  It would also be helpful to reach out to local museums, they often have additional information about other field trips.  Hopefully this was helpful! 

Payton Meyer Payton Meyer 5160 Points

Hi Jessica! I am also a pre-service teacher in Iowa. I go to the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls! In my Methods of Teaching Science class this semester, we each did an individual science project. For my project, I chose to take myself on a science related field trip. I went to the Science Imaginarium in Waterloo and it was a blast. This is a great museum for elementary students to go to because it allows the students to experience science in a hands-on, fun way. I also suggest the Children's Museum in Coralville. This was one of my favorite places to go when I was a kid and it is still just as fun! This is another place where students can learn in a hands-on and fun way about different topics in science such as engineering, biology, earth science, and so much more. These are two really great locations that you could take your students to. I also think that it would be a lot of fun to find some sort of park or trail where the students can go on a nature walk and learn more about the environment, plants, animals, and weather. Plus, if you found a park that has a playground, you could stay and eat lunch and have a little play time as well! :) 

Mackenzie Laven Mackenzie Laven 3585 Points

Hello Jessica, 

I am Mackenzie Laven and I attend the University of Northern Iowa. I am taking a science methods class and for one of our assignments, we were to take a field trip to a science-related place and record our findings on it. I choose to go to the greenhouse that is on my campus here at UNI. It is a great big greenhouse full of many different habitats and plants. This is a very good idea when you are teaching your students about plants and different habitats. You can make a worksheet or a scavenger hunt and have your students go around the greenhouse and find plants with different functions, colors, characteristics, and more. When learning about plants, it will be very helpful to see them hands-on to be able to understand their ways of living. I loved going to the greenhouse and see all the different plants there. You can set up a tour as well to be guided through the greenhouse looking at certain plants your class might be interested in. Visiting a greenhouse would be a wonderful field trip for any grade and I hope you take the opportunity to go!

James Johnson James Johnson 95308 Points

Hi Jessica. I have taken my class to our local Challenger Center and found the activity very stimulating, inspiring, and educational for the kids. Here's a link to see if there's one near you.

Also, any NASA facility has periodic tours for free. Good experience!


James Johnson James Johnson 95308 Points

Hi Jessica. I have taken my class to our local Challenger Center and found the activity very stimulating, inspiring, and educational for the kids. Here's a link to see if there's one near you.

Also, any NASA facility has periodic tours for free. Good experience!


Brenda Velasco Mizenko Brenda Velasco 2695 Points

We study habitats and take our students to a place called Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City. The students get to experience a whole bunch of habitats and even get to take a nature walk and go fishing. We do this as final activity to wrap up our habitat unit. Where in Iowa do you live? If you are close to Sioux Falls they have an Outdoor campus there as well.

Brynn Hutchison Brynn Hutchison 160 Points


I am a student at the University of Arkansas and while purusing the site I found your response to this question! This gave me the idea to take my future students to Devil's Den, a state park in Arkansas. I like using a field trip like this one to wrap up a habitat or even state landmark unit. Thanks so much!

Nayeli Salas Nayeli Salas 990 Points

Hi Jessica, I am a preservice teacher in Houston, Texas. Some of our methods classes have given us projects to where we were required to go out and explore our city. The goal was to find a way to make connections between our city and classroom. Two places to which I made the most connections to Science was the Children's Museum and The Museum of Natural Science. An advice would be to spend a day exploring your city to find places worthy of taking your class on a field trip. For the students to make a deeper connection, it is important to explain to the students the reason for the field trip. Good luck on your journey! =)

Kennedy Polk Kennedy Polk 180 Points


Search for some local sceince museums, specifically ones that have kids zones. I am from the Dallas area and the Perot Museum is an incredible place to take kids and it fun and educational for all ages. 

Kate Keith Kate Keith 180 Points


I am a presercive teacher as well.  It is hard for me to pull from personal experience because science was not a main focus in my school.  We never took the time to go on field trips or focus on science that much in general. Vitual tours and virtual reality have become a big thing, so if your school doesnt have the funding, this is a great alternative as well.

Casey Willcox Casey Willcox 270 Points


I saw this forum labled field trips and it sparked an interest for me, because I would love to find out about more science field trips in the Boston, MA area. I currently work at a school that holds many low-income families, and the district is limited with field trip expenses. Therefore, I am looking for ideas that are on the cheaper side but will still give my students a valuable expierence. They only recieve science twice a week so I think a science field trip would be an awesome opportunity for my scholars. Thanks so much.

- 3rd Grade Teacher 


















Stephanie Gomez Stephanie Gomez 390 Points


I'm a teacher in the Los Angles area.  I work in south central LA.  Most of my students are low income and my high school has limited funds.  What I do for my field trips is find free days and free events.  I constantly search online and ask my friends, even my non-teacher friends.  Almost every museum has a free day. often the first or second Tuesday of the month.  Many museums that may not have any science in their name actually have science related exhibits, you just have to ask or be creative.  For example, I recently took my class to an art museum and the museum happened to have a 3-D exhibit.  (My students had never been to an art museum.)  Their assignment was to find an exhibit and describe how science is incorportaed in that exhibit.  That 3-D exhibit had them engaged for so long, I had to pull them away to go eat lunch.

Amie Kraemer Amie Kraemer 10 Points

What a fantastic way of using your resources to make great experiences for your students!

Justice Taylor Justice Taylor 1155 Points

When talking about the different kinds of rocks you can discuss how some caves are made of rocks. Rocks are found everyone and there are many different kinds. We took a field trip to Marengo Cave to see the different rocks this cave has and how old the rocks are. This helps the students learn about rocks by having fun instead of just learning from a book. They actually get to go out somewhere and learn rather than being in a classroom. Caves are also very interesting and fun to explore. 

Brian Kucera Brian Kucera 585 Points


So, I would recommend using Google Earth if you are able to pull it up in front of your students. By doing this you could show different areas of the world and therefore different rock formations. You could also find different places where the rocks are at one section of the Rock Cycle. Looking near Hawaii or by any other type of active volcano, could give your students a fun exploring style lesson, while also showing them the basics of the cycle! This would be a great budget style fieldtrip for a classroom. I'm mainly posting this so that others may want to try this if they ever want an interesting day of inquiry without the worry of permission slips.

Hope it works out and good luck either way!

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