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School Field Trip Programs

K-5 Environmental Education Guided Trips 

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden at Cal State Fullerton is a plant museum that serves as a learning platform for students of all walks of life, from elementary-age children to adult life-long learners. In alignment with our mission, vision, and values, as well as next generation science standards, the Arboretum offers two volunteer-led, uniquely curated Environmental Education Guided Trips. These guided trips are intended for K-5 students and provide a science-based experience, which teachers are encouraged to expand upon in their classrooms with relevant science curriculum. Students who embark on these guided trips make use of scientific practices by making observations and recording them in a journal, which is provided. There are two different options for guided trips:

  • Investigating Biomes – A biome is a major life zone. It can be classified by the plants and animals that live in it. Temperature, soil and the amount of light and water help determine what life exists in a biome. Your students will investigate the pond, desert and chaparral biomes.
  • Trees Are Essential – Trees are an essential part of our environment. They are important to plants, fungi, wildlife and people. They provide countless benefits, like oxygen, shelter and food. Your students will learn how trees are beneficial to humans and animals and how trees survive and grow.

Are you interested in having your students experience either of these guided trips? Please read below for more important information and to submit a K-5 Environmental Education Guided Trip request form. 

Important K-5 Guided Trip Notes:

  • Mid-August - Mid May (with the exception of university holidays and Commencement week)
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
  • In an effort to be mindful of our volunteers who lead these programs, guided trips must always conclude at 11am, even if buses arrive late.

Guided trips must be scheduled and approved at least 4 weeks in advance.

The Arboretum is self-supporting. A fee of $5 per person helps support the garden and make these experiences possible.

Food is not allowed inside the Arboretum. If your group plans to provide lunch to your students, we ask that you leave food on the bus until the guided trip has concluded. Groups may use the picnic tables outside the front entrance to eat once the guided trip has concluded.

Buses may drop students off in front of the Arboretum, but must park in CSU Fullerton’s Lot A.

Minimum of 30 students, maximum of 96 including students, teachers and chaperones.

  • Grade Level: We ask that all students in your group for K-5 guided trips be the same grade level - we will not be able to provide guided tours for groups with mixed grade levels (see below for info about Self-Guided Trips if your group is mixed grade).
  • Teachers: At minimum, 1 credentialed teacher must be present for every 30 students (i.e., 90 students = 3 credentialed teachers). Instructional assistants, paraprofessionals, parent volunteers, etc. are not credentialed teachers, though they are welcome to assist as chaperones.
  • 3 groups: Regardless of the size of your school’s group or the number of classes present, all students should be split into three groups prior to arriving.

If for some reason you need to cancel your visit, please do so at least 24 hours in advance of your date. No shows will not be rescheduled. We reserve the right to cancel a scheduled trip within 48 hours of your visit should there be inclement weather or other unplanned events.

NOTE: the Arboretum Trip Request Form must be submitted for your request to be approved, scheduled, and confirmed. Whether you are requesting a Guided Field Trip or a Self-Guided Experience, the form must be submitted in advance of your visit. You will receive an email confirmation when your request has been approved. Save the email confirmation to present upon your arrival at the Arboretum. All phone and email inquiries about Field Trips and Self Guided Experiences will be referred to submit the Arboretum Trip Request Form. Groups who come to the Arboretum without submitting a request or receiving an email confirmation will be advised to explore the Arboretum as visitors.

 

Arboretum Trip Request Form

Self-Guided Trips

Do you have less than 30 students in your group? Is your group mixed K-5 grade level, or in 6th grade and beyond? Can’t make it during the 9am-11am timeframe? Not to worry, the self-guided trip option is available as well! These trips are intended to accommodate all group types. Self-guided opportunities may include Discovery Stations - based on volunteer docent availability - featuring different habitats, animals and themes of our environment (see below for more info).

  • All year (with the exception of university holidays and Commencement week)
  • Any day of the week, including weekends.

Self-guided trips must be scheduled and approved at least 4 weeks in advance.

The Arboretum is self-supporting. A fee of $5 per person helps support the garden and make these experiences possible.

No more than 90 people.

Food is not allowed inside the Arboretum. If your group plans to provide lunch to your students, we ask that you leave food on the bus or in vehicles until the self-guided trip has concluded. Groups may use the picnic tables outside the front entrance to eat once the trip has concluded.

  • Personal vehicles may park in the Arboretum parking lot or in Lot G for a fee.
  • Buses may drop students off in front of the Arboretum, but must park in CSU Fullerton’s Lot A.

If for some reason you need to cancel your visit, please do so at least 24 hours in advance of your date. We reserve the right to cancel a scheduled trip within 48 hours of your visit should there be inclement weather or other unplanned events.

A request for Self-Guided Trips may be submitted below. Upon approval of your request for a self-guided trip and confirmation of your visit date, you will receive prep material to support your science teaching while guiding your students through the Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

NOTE: the Arboretum Trip Request Form must be submitted for your request to be approved, scheduled, and confirmed. Whether you are requesting a Guided Field Trip or a Self-Guided Experience, the form must be submitted in advance of your visit. You will receive an email confirmation when your request has been approved. Save the email confirmation to present upon your arrival at the Arboretum. All phone and email inquiries about Field Trips and Self Guided Experiences will be referred to submit the Arboretum Trip Request Form. Groups who come to the Arboretum without submitting a request or receiving an email confirmation will be advised to explore the Arboretum as visitors.

 

Arboretum Trip Request Form

Learning at Discovery Stations

Discovery stations are a form of Informal Science Education (ISE) that is often seen in natural history museums, zoos and botanic gardens. ISE promotes free-choice learning and the use of authentic artifacts. We have developed a series of discovery stations that highlight the habitats found at the Arboretum and Botanical Garden and make use of the principles of ISE. Each station includes artifacts authentic to the habitat, which are meant to be held by visitors and inspire questions that lead to learning. Students can focus on which artifacts interest them, reflecting the principle of free choice.

Each Discovery Station has a volunteer docent to answer any questions. Social interaction is another component of ISE and our discovery stations maximize learning through interactions between peers and volunteers. It is our intent to make use of ISE to complement the formal science education that takes place in the classroom.

NOTE: Discovery Stations are led by volunteer docents. Access to Discovery Stations is based on volunteer docent availability.

Read more about ISE at Discovery Stations.

 

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