Learn about the types of field trips offered by the U.S. Botanic Garden and register your class or students for a trip. There is no cost associated with our field trips or field trip resources but registration is required. We look forward to your visit!
Please note: On-Site Instructor-Led Lessons are currently fully booked through June 2024. If you’d like to be added to a waitlist, please email USBGfieldtrips@aoc.gov
Find your field trip:
- Self-Guided Exploration
- On-site Instructor-Led Lesson (Fully booked through June 2024.)
- Virtual Field Trip
Self-guided student groups are welcome in the Garden during opening times (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily), though we ask you register your group in advance. Note: these visits are teacher/chaperone-led and do not involve Garden employees.
On-Site Activity Resources are available to support your exploration of our gardens. Please download the resources in advance of your visit and review our Field Trip Logistics to understand our policies and guidance on chaperones, transportation, food, and more.
On-site Instructor-Led Lesson
On-site field trips led by U.S Botanic Garden educators are scheduled for 90 minutes to include lesson time and self-guided exploration. Garden employees will not lead the self-guided portion of the trip. Please review our Field Trip Logistics to understand our policies and guidance on chaperones, transportation, food, and more.
NOTE: On-site facilitated lessons are fully booked through the end of June 2024. If you’d like to be added to a waitlist, please email USBGfieldtrips@aoc.gov. We also offer self-guided explorations for all grades and virtual field trips for grades 3, 4, and 5.
Pre-K-K: Seed to Seedling
Students explore seed germination, and what seedlings need to survive.
- K-LS1-1. Plants need water and light to live and grow.
Grades 1-2: Plants and Pollinators
Students use dissection to understand the purpose of a flower. They then use a model to explore the relationship between plants and pollinators.
- 1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
- 2-LS2-2. Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
Grades 3-5: Plant Adaptations
Students explore how plants have adapted to survive the challenges in their environments.
- 3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
- 4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
- 5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
Grades 6-8: Photosynthesis
Students use microscopes and refractometers to understand how plants make their own food.
- MS-LS1-6. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms
Grades 9-12: Conservation Investigation
Students use scientific tools to conduct an investigation of plant-based textiles. After learning about the resources required for the production of each, students make an argument for their relative sustainability.
- HS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity. The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.
Virtual Field Trip
- Live, Instructor-Led
- 45 minutes
- Suitable for 15-50 Students
- Offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
These immersive, interactive virtual field trips take students behind the scenes for a close-up look at our plant collection. Students learn the science of how plants work from specialists who study and care for these plants. Time is selected by teacher at time of registration. To learn more, please review our Virtual Field Trip Technology Guide [PDF].
Grade 3: Plant Adaptations
Students investigate the connection between the environmental challenges plants face and their adaptive traits. In their investigation, students focus on constructing explanations for why plants have certain traits given the conditions of their growing environment. Why do bog-dwelling carnivorous plants trap insects? Let’s figure it out together!
- NGSS: 3-LS3-2 - Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits: Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
Grade 4: Plant Form and Function
Students explore plant form and function, and construct arguments for how external structures help plants survive challenges in different environments. How do the holes in the leaves of the swiss cheese plant help it survive in the rainforest? Let’s figure it out together!
- NGSS: 4-LS1-1 - From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes: Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
Grade 5: Plant Survival in Challenging Environments
Students investigate how plants obtain necessary matter and energy in different challenging environments. If cactus leaves are spines, where does photosynthesis take place in most cacti? Let’s figure it out together!
- NGSS: 5-LS2-1 - Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.