Field trip programs

With acres of forests, woodlands, wetlands, vernal pools, meadows, gardens and trails, the Hitchcock Center offers an immense outdoor classroom that’s perfect for field-based exploration, discovery and inquiry. Add an innovative sustainable environmental education center staffed by highly experienced environmental educators, dedicated teachers and excited students will deepen their scientific skills and sustainability practices.

Groups are invited to bring a picnic lunch and stay after your field trip is complete.

All field trips address the Massachusetts Curriculum Standards for Science, Technology, Engineering and Match (S.T.E.M.) which are provided for each field trip below.

The following field trips can be adapted as a one-hour classroom program (fee: $175 + travel):

Habitat Studies
Animals in Winter
Tree and Me 
Forest Ecology 
Insect Investigations 
Life in a Pond 
Pond Ecosystems

Classroom pre-trip programs are available for the field trips Animals in Winter, Life in a Pond and Pond Ecosystems. A pre-trip program benefits students by engaging them in the content, introducing vocabulary and preparing for focused outdoor exploration.

Program Fees Effective July 1, 2019:

  • Field Trip (2 hours): $225 per classroom
  • Life in a Pond and Pond Ecosystem Field trip (2.5 hours): $250 per classroom
  • Field Trip (2 hours) and Classroom Pre-trip (1 hour): $390 per classroom + travel fee

Money for Buses
The Massachusetts Cultural Council provides grant money to help pay for the cost of busing students to field trips. For more information, visit their web site and look for the Big Yellow School Bus Grants. You will find the application form there.

Animals in Winter

Animals in Winter |

Grade levels: , , ,
Cost: per classroom
with classroom pre-trip: plus travel fee(s)

Duration:

We will explore animal homes, food, signs and various adaptations that animals use for surviving in the cold, snowy months.

 
Inspired by Nature: Engineering and Design

Engineering Design: Modeling Solutions to Real World Problems | , , ,

Grade levels: , , , ,
Cost: per classroom
Duration:

Students will learn about how natural systems can inform human innovation as they explore the building’s water, waste and energy systems.

 
Habitat Studies

Habitat Studies |

Grade levels: , , , ,
Cost: per classroom
Duration:

Just as each neighborhood has its own needs and inhabitants, each habitat has its own animals, plants, and interactions.

 
Insect Investigations

Insect Investigations |

Grade levels: , , , , ,
Cost: per classroom
Duration:

Students will learn about the science of entomology through a live insect lab, and will collect insects, and their non-insect relatives, in various habitats on our trails.

 
Life in a Pond

Life in a Pond | ,

Grade levels: , , ,
Cost: per classroom
with classroom pre-trip: plus travel fee(s)

Duration:

At the pond, we will collect and observe several varieties of invertebrates that depend on this habitat.

 
Life of a Tree

Life of a Tree | ,

Grade levels: , , ,
Cost: per classroom
Duration:

Students will have the opportunity to sharpen their observation skills as they explore life in and around a tree.

 
Mountains and Valleys: The Geology of the Pioneer Valley

Mountains and Valleys: The Geology of the Pioneer Valley |

Grade levels: , , ,
Cost: per classroom
Duration:

Students will learn how fascinating geology can be and how the everyday landscape provides intriguing clues to the past.

 
Pond Ecosystems

Pond Ecosystems |

Grade levels: , ,
Cost: per classroom
with classroom pre-trip: plus travel fee(s)

Duration:

Students will collect and observe a diversity of fascinating animals and plants whose adaptations to living in water are truly astonishing.

 
The Forest Ecosystem

The Forest Ecosystem |

Grade levels: , ,
Cost: per classroom
Duration:

Through a variety of activities, students will learn about plant life cycles, and the energy transfer through the food web from producers to consumers to decomposers.

 
What Do Skulls Tell Us About Animals?

What Do Skulls Tell Us About Animals? |

Grade levels: , ,
Cost: per classroom
Duration:

Using the Hitchcock Center’s skull and mounted animal collection, students will study the characteristics and adaptations of local animals.

 
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Hitchcock Center for the Environment