Field Trips | Prepare for Your Field Trip

Preparing for a field trip

The NSF National Center for Atmospheric Research's field trip program is only possible with the assistance of chaperones who accompany visiting groups. Alongside teachers and our educators, chaperones help ensure the visit is a success. We appreciate your support in supervising group members during the field trip! All adults on the field trip should review our Field Trip Information document to be prepared for the visit.

Before your visit

  • Review student expectations and our tips for chaperones in our Field Trip Information document
  • Explore the UCAR and NSF NCAR websites and watch the video, Air • Planet • People, so that you can answer basic questions about the organization.
  • Make sure you know how to get to the NSF NCAR Mesa Lab. Review where the drop-off area is, where to park, and the path to the front doors with our Parking Map. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about your arrival.
    • School and Public Programs Phone: 303.497.2401
    • Mesa Lab Front Desk Phone: 303.497.1126
  • We ask chaperones to avoid bringing student's siblings. Your presence and availability to answer student questions during the field trip are very important!

Social Narrative

Help set expectations with your students for your field trip by using our Field Trip Social Narrative document. This tool has been developed for visitors with ASD or other disabilities, but can be used by anyone!


Teacher's Guides

We offer two teacher's guides for our What's Up with Climate Change Learning Lab. These guides are intended to provide supplemental activities and resources to help you prepare students for learning about climate change, or reinforce what was learned on their visit. 


During the field trip

Have students leave their backpacks in the vehicle(s) and bring their lunches with them inside, if eating onsite. Walk with the group to the building's main entrance and have students gather in the lobby while you check in with the front desk.

Typically, a field trip to NSF NCAR will last approximately two hours plus time to eat at the Mesa Lab. School groups are welcome to explore the hiking trails behind NSF NCAR after their trip, which is not included as a part of our experience. (Although some groups may go out on the Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail as a part of their Learning Lab.) Field trips typically include a tailored tour of the facility, a Learning Lab experience, time in the exhibits, and lunch. Check with your teacher/program leader for specifics about your visit.


NEXT STEP: After Your Field Trip