If you’re looking for science-themed field trips for high school students, North Carolina has many options in a wide variety of disciplines.
The Science House
Let’s start in the state capital of Raleigh with The Science House at North Carolina State University, which houses a wealth of knowledge and delivers a hands-on approach to teaching students about science and math.
Three good field trips for high school students include a tour of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, which addresses study and career options, Hydrogeology in the North Carolina Piedmont, a research and training station at NCSU’s Lake Wheeler that focuses on groundwater monitoring wells, and the Nuclear Engineering Field Trip Program, a one-and-a-half hour trip that includes tours of the PULSTAR research reactor, neutron activation lab and/or the plasma lab. The tours are available at any time and are free.
The Science House emphasizes teacher development and is dedicated to student learning. Located at NCSU, Suite 1200, 909 Capability Drive, Raleigh, NC 27695, it has five satellite offices. Contact (919) 515-6118.
North Carolina Arboretum
Give “field trip” a whole new meaning at the North Carolina Arboretum in Ashville, a 434 acre spread of forests and streams that includes 65 acres of cultivated gardens and ten miles of hiking and biking trails. The Bonsai Exhibition Garden is one of many exhibits that will capture high school Science students’ attention. According to the NC Arboretum website, bonsai is taking ordinary plants and useing rigorous cultivating techniques to grow them in an extraordinary way. Why not challenge your students to give it a try? There are over 100 specimens on display for inspiration.
North Carolina Arboretum offers guided field trips for $4 and free self-guided tours. Field trips are offered September-May and begin at 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. and last one-and-a-half hours. Located at 100 Frederick Law Olmstead Way, Ashville, NC, 28806. Call (828) 665-2492.
The North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve
Here’s the chance to really let your high school Science students get their feet wet-a field trip to The North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve. Tailor this visit to your high school students’ needs, whether it’s for a two-hour nature hike where students observe plants such as sea lavender and learn about the effects of salinity on blue crabs, or a two-hour boat ride down Taylor’s Creek and the opportunity to observe over 200 species of birds.
After this field trip, your science student will be well-versed in estuaries, and the ecological sensitivities of the system, and be able describe estuarine habitats. Must make reservations two weeks in advance. Located at 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, NC 28516. Call (252)838-0883.