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Austin is known for its learning and innovative opportunities, and events such as SXSW. However, Austin is not just a place for adult learning and innovation. If you’re an educator, you know that field trips are critical to students’ educational years: hands-on learning is unparalleled when it comes to integration of concepts and learning objectives. From Austin’s bustling downtown with the Texas State Capitol to Pioneer Farms on the outer edges of the city, there are multiple locations that are ideal for field trips. Bus.com can help you and your grow get to and from your field trips.
We have a variety of buses to meet the needs of your field trip group! Whether you are staying close to home or traveling far and wide, we have the bus for you. Here are three of our most popular ones to get you started.
Across the country, many school districts have eliminated an already-minimal budget for field trips. Instead the funds go to technology or “more pressing needs.” Field trips have also been slashed because of standardized testing. However, many studies show the importance of field trips. One study that surveyed over 11,000 students discovered that students who participated in field trips had “stronger critical thinking skills, higher levels of social tolerance and greater historical empathy than those who didn’t.”
Austin has a slew of places that you can take your students for a fun field trip! To get you started, here are a few of them, all gathered into one place for you to get a taste of what might be possible.
Austin Nature and Science Center was founded in 1960 with a mission of providing hands-on educational exhibits that promote awareness and appreciation of nature and the environment. What better place to take your students to learn more about nature? The center is located on the edge of Zilker Park and has both indoor and outdoor nature exhibits. Your students can dig for dinosaur bones, look for fish in the creek, or check out the small zoo. If you’re bringing your students, there is a $1.00 per person fee if you’re doing your own tour, but otherwise, other options that require registration and extra fees.
Thinkery was founded in 1983 by a group of parents and educators. Their desire was to have more educational opportunities, and the initial Thinkery was mobile. Today, Thinkery is located in a 40,000 square foot facility! It sure has grown. Its focus is on STEAM exhibits and programs. School groups can visit Tuesdays- Fridays from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm during the school year. Hightlights of Thinkery include the two-story playground outside, which has limitless possibilities for your students to explore. There are ropes, slides, and mini-mountains of rope to climb. Make sure to also check out the water section, where you can put your hand into a water stream and see how the water responds.
The LBJ Presidential Library is located at University of Texas at Austin and is the presidential library of Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. If you bring your students, you have a choice between a group tour and a self-guided tour. Groups of fewer than 15 people may visit without a reservation. All tours are available free of charge to school groups, however your group must have more than 15 and fewer than 60 if you want a guided tour. You’ll need one adult for every eight students. Exhibits include: The Presidential Limousine, the Social Justice Gallery, and the Vietnam Conflict.
The Texas Capitol is located in downtown Austin and was designed by Elijah E. Myers. It is taller than the United States Capitol and is the sixth-tallest state capitol in the United States. The building has been renovated several times, most recently in 1993 with an underground expansion and in 195 with a comprehensive restoration of both he interior and exterior of the building.The main rotunda features portraits of important Texans and the Capitol building sits on 22 acres of grounds that have statues and landscaping. If you take your students during the holiday season, they may get to see the Capitol and its grounds decorated with lights.
Pioneer Farms is a living history park and museum that preserves the history and culture of Texas in the 1800s. The historic site offers immense hands-on opportunities to learn about history, science, and nature. All of the programs meet state TAKS requirements and Pioneer Farms can also provide supplemental teacher materials. Pricing varies, depending on which program you’re interested in: they range from $6 to $25. You and your students can see how pioneers lived and what their day to day was like.