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!

Find your field trip:

 

Children explore the plants and pond of the Regional Garden

Self-Guided Exploration

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.

Register your Self-Guided Exploration

 


children using microscopes

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 the 2022-2023 school year. Please consider a self-guided exploration, or a virtual field trip if Grade 3, 4, or 5. Thank you.

Lesson Descriptions

close up of roots and stem of sprouting plants

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.

 

 

 

closeup of a bee sitting on stem with multiple small purple flowers

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.

 

close up of yellow spines emerging from thick flesh of a green cactus

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.

 

a plant cell under a microscope showing cell walls

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

 

A hand lens magnifies the fibers of a piece of cloth

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.

 

Register your On-Site Instructor-Led Lesson

 


A gardener talks about a carnivorous pitcher plant

Virtual Field Trip

  • Live, Instructor-Led
  • 45 minutes
  • Suitable for 10-50 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].

Lesson Descriptions

Venus flytraps

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.

Monstera deliciosa

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.

Pitcher plants

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.

Register your Virtual Field Trip


three young kids view a hand lens held by an instructor in an outdoor garden

Homeschool On-Site Field Trips

We offer on-site field trips for the homeschool community once a month in the fall and spring. Each 90-minute block includes time for an instructor-led lesson and self-guided exploration. Please note that registration is required for each participating student, and we ask that you please register only students in the appropriate grade bands. Check back in January for spring dates.

Lesson Descriptions

close up of yellow spines emerging from thick flesh of a green cactus

Grades 3-5: Plant Adaptations

Students explore how plants have adapted to survive the challenges in their environments.

 

 

 

 

a plant cell under a microscope showing cell walls

Grades 6-8: Photosynthesis

Students will use microscopes and refractometers to understand how plants make their own food.