Field Trips to NCAR
Field trips to the NCAR Mesa Lab Visitor Center are available to school, camp, club, and home school groups Monday through Friday throughout the year. The typical field trip includes a tour, Science Learning Lab of your choosing, and time in the exhibits and/or the Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail. The Labs are designed for PreK-12th grade students with fun, learning, and discovery in mind. Teachers and other field-trip planners are encouraged to review the Science Learning Labs in advance of the field trip and to request the lab with greatest appeal. Each lab is aligned to Colorado science standards, and incorporates hands-on science activities designed to meaningfully engage students in science learning. For older high school and post-secondary students, special itineraries can be arranged at the time of scheduling that suit your specific needs and interests.
Recommended Length of Field Trip
Field trips typically require anywhere from an hour for our youngest visitors to a half day or longer for those at the college level or beyond. However, we can adapt field trips to meet the time limitations of all groups. Most K-8th grade field trips last from two to four hours, depending on whether the group is staying for lunch and/or including a hike on the Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail or Mesa Trail. At a minimum, we recommend a two-hour visit for groups with students 5 to 12 years old so that they have adequate time for a Science Learning Lab, guided tour, and exploration of the NCAR exhibits.
Groups are encouraged to enjoy a picnic lunch on NCAR's Tree Plaza overlooking Boulder Valley when Colorado weather allows. Lunch accommodations are also available in the NCAR cafeteria and/or classroom. Student groups are not allowed to buy their lunch in the cafeteria unless arrangements have been made in advance of the visit. Teachers, group planners, counselors, and parent chaperones are welcome to buy their lunch in NCAR's cafeteria, however, please note that the cafeteria is cash only. Weekly cafeteria menus are available online.