School Field Trips to NSF NCAR

A photo shooting down the stairs of an educator sitting on the stair landing with a group of students looking up towards the top of the stairs. A mural of the layers of the atmosphere is behind them.

A field trip to the NSF NCAR Mesa Lab Visitor Center is a fun way for your students in a preK-12 class, camp, club, or homeschool group to learn about the weather, the atmosphere, climate, Sun and space weather, and more! Our interactive exhibits and hands-on Learning Labs help students explore the world around them.

What We Offer

During the school year, we offer a variety of Learning Labs for visiting preK-12th grade groups. Each two-hour Learning Lab includes guided exhibit exploration and a hands-on learning experience in the classroom. Select field trips also include an outdoor learning experience.  Check out the list of Learning Labs that we currently offer.

All field trips to the NSF NCAR Mesa Lab are free, but transportation and lunch are not included. Advanced reservation is required. Group sizes should be between 15* and 50 students for our field trips, and we can split larger groups into multiple programs across different days. 

During the school year, our in-person field trips are hosted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm (noon) MT.  For summer programming, we host field trips on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm (noon) MT, excluding any holidays. We run special programs during the summer that differ from our school year Learning Labs. To learn more about summer programming, visit the Reserve Your Field Trip page.

*Please note our group size minimum has increased to at least 15 students. 

Getting Started

Review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to learn more about our field trip programs and determine if they're suitable for your student group. To look at our Learning Lab descriptions or if you are ready to book your spot, go to the Reserve Your Field Trip page and fill out the in-person program request form. A member of our School & Public Programs team will work with you to confirm your reservation.

Each April, field trip reservations open for the upcoming Fall semester. Each August, field trip reservations open for the following Spring semester. To stay in the loop with reservation and program announcements, sign up for our monthly K-12 newsletter

After You Book

After you have received a confirmation email for your in-person program, you can review the Prepare for Your Field Trip page

After your field trip, take a look at our After Your Field Trip page, which outlines a variety of follow-up activities to continue learning after your Learning Lab. 

Email our School and Public Programs (SPP) team with any questions.