From seeing a cell through a high powered microscope to visiting a natural ecosystem in person, there are dozens of ways to incorporate a science field trip into your unit plan. You can use your science field trip as an introduction to a unit and refer back to it as you teach. Alternatively, you can use it as the capstone and facilitate a experiment or project in the field. How ever you choose to use a field trip this year, we've gathered our favorite resources for fabulous science field trips below!
In this astronomy workshop students get the chance to see a live planetarium show featuring the sky as it looks right now. They learn will learn about the constellations, planets and other features of the night sky. After the presentation students get to engage in a hands-on workshop where they explore the properties of the planets, make observations, and record data, using clues in “Discovery Boxes."
The Biobus is a fully equipped mobile science lab, staffed by trained scientists. It travels around the city to give kids the chance use its tools, and learn from its staff of scientists. Cells Cells Cells is one of the many labs that they offer. In it, students get to investigate the Daphnia under the microscope. Once they zoom in to see the Daphnia's cells, they get the chance to take a sample of their own cells (from a cotton swab) and compare what they see.
On a field trip to The Visitor Center at the Newton Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant students will learn about New York City’s water resources through exhibitions and programs featuring our water supply and wastewater treatment systems featuring DEP employees who narrate the cycle of water from water supply to distribution, wastewater treatment, and harbor water quality. This tour can be paired with a .5 mile round trip nature walk past the plant's settling tanks and digesters, helping students better understand the water treatment process.
A visit to the Noguchi museum integrates art and science beautifully. Through the Mining Art: Basalt, Granite, Marble field trip, "students will look at the sculptures of Isamu Noguchi through the lens of geology. They will learn about the different natural properties of the materials Noguchi worked with while exploring the differences between nature’s marks and the artist’s mark on stone."
"East River Ecology teaches students about the animals and plants that live and thrive in the ecosystem of an estuary. Located in the well-protected harbor where fresh water from the Hudson River and streams mixes with the salty ocean water, the Harbor Estuary supports a variety of animals and plants. Through the East River Ecology curriculum, participants are exposed to vocabulary and fun facts about the estuary in addition to particular plants and animals found in the East River. Students have the opportunity to see estuary organisms in our oyster cage and fish traps, perform water quality monitoring and discover their own impact on the estuary by looking at their own contributions to pollution."
The Intrepid Museum is home to a retired submarine and air craft carrier. While visiting, students get a chance to see what life was like aboard each vessel. On the aviation science field trip, classes explore the aircraft carrier Intrepid and examine the machinery that makes flight at sea possible. In hands-on activities, students work in groups to demonstrate the physics of flight and how those forces interact with one another.
Do you have a favorite NYC science field trip? Be sure to leave it in the comments below!
Looking for more science field trips? Check out our list of outdoor ones here, or visit Explorable Places to search for field trips based on subject, grade, location, activity and price. You'll find just what you're looking for.