Science Field Trips in Connecticut
There are many destinations in Connecticut that support the study of science. These can be great experiences for your class, or for you and your family.
The center consists of 295 acres of open woodlands, meadows, ponds, and streams. With eight miles of beautiful trails, and a model backyard wildlife habitat, the Center offers visitors the opportunity to observe more than 900 species of ferns and flowering plants, and up to 35 species of mammals and 160 species of birds. The bird blinds around Mead Lake offer the chance to watch and photograph water birds without disturbing them. During the fall, the annual hawk migration can be seen from the Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch Site.
This nature center and wildlife sanctuary is owned and operated by the National Audubon Society. The Sharon Audubon Center has over eleven miles of scenic hiking trails, and includes 1,147 acres of mixed forest, meadows, wetlands, ponds and streams. The Sharon Audubon Center offers educational programs for all ages, a seasonal newsletter, nature programs, wildlife rehabilitation, research, live animal exhibits, a children's adventure center, a nature store, and a natural history library.
Great for family day trips, birthdays, and class trips, the Connecticut Science Center has hands-on science exhibits and a 3D digital theater! You'll also find a variety of high quality professional development for teachers, including the NextGen Science Exemplar System. Bring your students, or bring the museum to them through their classroom outreach programs.
Connecticut's Dinosaur Trail
From Yale Peabody's Museum of Natural History, to Lake Compounce's Dino Expedition, the Connecticut Science Center, Dinosaur Place, and of course our own Dinosaur State Park with the world's best trackway, dinosaurs are everywhere! See the article from the CSTA June 2015 Newsletter for details.
Worcester, MA ...OK, not CT, but close!
This multi-faceted science and nature center offers a variety of interactive exhibits indoors, short walking trails outdoors, planetarium shows, and staffed programs for upper elementary and lower middle school grades. The option to do a brief outdoor activity is great, though it's best to visit when it's not too crowded as the atrium building is loud.
The Maritime Aquarium is well-suited for large groups of all ages with live animal exhibits, interactives, science and maritime technology and history exhibits, an IMAX theater, and a variety of programs on general science topics and specific Long Island Sound units. Bring students to the aquarium touch a shark and stay in touch with their live webcams!
This well-designed museum has re-opened seasonally from May through November and deserves a second look. Exhibits on animal adaptations and global climate change (not to mention interdisciplinary connections of course) align well to upper elementary and middle school standards. Archaeology programs provide excellent inquiry-based enrichment.
There's lots to do in Mystic, so you can make Mystic Aquarium a part of your family's vacation itinerary and still have more to do in the area or plan a trip with your class. There is a combination of indoor and outdoor exhibits, a boardwalk experience called the Marsh Trek, live sea lion shows, and a 4D theater. From encounters with penguins, seals, and beluga whales to programs for K-12 as well as outreach programs, Mystic Aquarium has a lot to offer. Since 1975, the Animal Rescue Clinic has been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing marine animals. Plan to peek into their clinic to see their ongoing work.
Roaring Brook Nature Center
Roaring Brook Nature Center offers a year-round schedule of educational programs for all ages. You will find a variety of lectures, workshops and field trips available to adults on a wide range of natural history topics and environmental issues, as well as educational programs both at the Nature Center and as outreach programs in schools. Check out their seasonal nature walks too! They host special events such as an annual Hobgoblin Fair, a Halloween children’s event, concerts, and special events for members and friends. Birthday party programs are available as well.
This world-class art museum's Hudson River School landscape painting collection provides earth science (and of course history and literary) connections, and the right docent can speak to the museum's x-ray painting analyses and restoration techniques. Though requiring more collaborative planning with staff, it is worth it. Large groups should plan to split to spend time at the Connecticut Science Center and/or The Old Statehouse, both within walking distance.
White Memorial is the largest wildlife refuge in Connecticut. Grab a bird checklist in the Nature Museum or go to their website for a copy and hit the trails. One of the most popular trails, the Little Pond Boardwalk allows visitors to walk through a wetland environment on a 1.2 mile raised wooden walkway. Other activities at the Center include: camping, biking, horseback riding, skiing, snowshoeing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and orienteering. There is a Nature Museum, a variety of school and birthday party programs, as well as rental facilities.
The Yale Peabody Museum, a part of the dino trail, has a number of exhibits, events and programs to offer learners of all ages. From exhibits such as the Great Hall of Dinosaurs, The Hall of Mammalian Evolution, and The Hall of Native American Cultures, to their newest addition, David Friend Hall, a gorgeous gallery of minerals, the permanent collections are amazing. There are also temporary exhibits and special programs, some especially for educators, so check back often to see what's going on.