Engage students in fun, hands-on learning while they explore plants and grow their science skills. We offer interdisciplinary tours and programs aligned with the Iowa Core, Next Generation Science Standards and local curricula for grades Pre-K through high school. Programs are offered September through May.
Schedule a Field Trip
Please fill out this reservation form to request a program.
Reservations will be confirmed within three business days and must be booked two weeks in advance. Programs are offered September through May.
|Guided Programs (Minimum of 8 Students)||Independent Study (Minimum of 10 Students)|
|$5 per student||$3 per student|
|chaperones free (in 1:8 ratio)||chaperones free (in 1:8 ratio)|
|$5 per chaperone (outside ratio)||$5 per chaperone (outside ratio)|
For groups larger than 50 please contact the Youth Education Coordinator at 515.402.4273 to discuss logistics.
Offered September through May
Petals & Pages
In Petals & Pages, we help curious minds bloom by planting a love of reading from an early age. We combine Houghton Mifflin PRE-K curriculum with garden related stories and activities to immerse children in literacy and plant science. Join us for this fun and educational story time and create a craft to take home. (Pre-K-K)
The Scoop on Soil
Sand, silt, clay and worms, oh my! Soil is everywhere and is much more than just the ground under your feet. In this lesson, students will investigate soil’s various parts, discover that not all soil is the same and learn why soil is important to our everyday lives. Designed to complement local Pebbles, Sand and Silt units, this lesson promises that students will get their hands dirty as they dig deep into the world of soil. (K-4th)
Flowers aren’t just pretty; they also serve an important purpose. In this plant parts lesson, students will uncover the inner workings of flowers and the functions of their parts by dissecting their own flower. They’ll also be engaged with fun stories, demonstrations and games as they learn about pollinator preferences and pollen transfer in our conservatory and outdoor gardens. Get your class ready to buzz like the bees as they discover the antics and magic of pollination. (K-5th)
Ecosystems on the Edge
To understand our world, one must understand how the world’s ecosystems, each with their own biotic and abiotic factors, interact with each other. Students will discover the difference between biomes and ecosystems and learn about the two biomes we have in the conservatory, what characteristics plants (specifically the orchid) need to thrive in the ecosystems they live in and how symbiotic relationships work in the plant world. (3rd-8th)
Wonders of Water
Water is important for every living thing! Dive into the world of water and learn what it’s made of, how valuable the finite resource is and ways the living world uses it. Students will use their investigative skills and test different water samples including the Des Moines River, the Botanical Garden’s Water Garden and tap water. Schools can also bring their own water sample to test. After the water tests, students will create a filter using natural materials to remove sediment and other debris from water. This program is seasonally offered September through November and March through May. Limited to groups of 25 at one time. (6th-12th)
This 45-minute guided tour includes opportunities for you and your students to learn about the Garden in a whole different way. Botanical Garden educational staff or volunteers will lead an interactive walking tour of the conservatory and outdoor gardens (weather permitting). Besides learning the history of the Botanical Garden, tour groups will have the opportunity to explore and interact with different exhibits while participating in a scavenger hunt along the way. (All Grades)
In this unguided experience, educators have the opportunity to visit the Botanical Garden and deliver their own content. This is perfect for educators who wish to bring in students for drawing, photography and other educationally related field trips. Classes who participate in Independent Study programs receive their own 90-minute period without distraction from other schools. Other visitors may be present. Teachers are permitted to use their own lessons and materials. Please discuss the specifics of your Independent Study with our School and Youth Coordinator to learn how you can lead an Independent Study with your class. (All Grades)
Offered September through May
Can’t make it to the Botanical Garden? Let us come to you! One of our educators will lead a fun, engaging program for your students. All programs meet state and national standards and involve a take-home component. Programs are offered Tuesday thru Thursday, September through May.
Limit 30 students per program, Minimum of 10 students. Travel outside a 10 mile radius from the Garden is $0.54/mile.
Fill out the reservation form here.
A Garden Exploration
Using songs, stories and plants, each student will learn about the senses and plant an edible herb to take home. (Pre-K-K) ($70/program)
The Seedy Side of Plants
Explore the concept of seed dispersal and learn about the ways plants have evolved to disperse its seeds. Students will dissect a seed and plant one to take home. (1st-3rd) ($70/program)
How can plants live in a closed container? Find out through this hands-on workshop about the water cycle and plant your own terrarium to take home. (4th-6th) ($100/program)
Please note: If more than one program is booked the same day at the same location, the additional programs will be $50 per program, except Tropical Terrariums which will be $100 for the first program and $80 for additional programs.