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So you want to take your students on a field trip? Seattle is an ideal setting, with its wealth of history and array of museums. However, Seattle can be hard to navigate and even more difficult to park in. With a rental bus, you won’t have to worry about wasting any time with practical issues. Instead, you can focus on what matters: curating the best educational experience for your students and chaperones.
There are many different types of buses to consider when you’re booking your field trip. There are various sizes you can charter, as well as buses with different levels of amenities. What you’re looking for will determine which bus is the best match for your needs. Here’s a brief overview of some of our most popular rentals:
Studies show that students who participate in field trips display stronger critical thinking skills, higher levels of social tolerance, and greater historical empathy than those who didn’t. As a teacher, you understand this is the heart of teaching. Although many school districts are eliminating and reducing funding for field trips, or focusing so much on testing preparation, field trips are still critical and relevant.
A field trip allows your students to have hands-on experience with the curriculum material they’ve been studying. Students learn differently, and some of the most effective methods are kinesthetic and experiential. Field trips allow students to self-direct and focus on what they’re interested in, with minimal teacher guidance. The skills you’re building during a field trip are not only academic, they’re also social and life skills. Bus trip downtime means that teachers and chaperones can connect with students and participants can also connect with each other.
Regardless of your subject, there are so many incredible options for field trips in Seattle that it's hard to know where to begin. To help you get started, we’ve curated a range of options that provide different educational focus and can help expand on your learning objectives and standards.
The Seattle Children’s Theater was officially founded in 1975, however, grassroots organizing was in the works from 1971 onward and their original location was on the grounds of the Seattle Zoo. Their mission is to provide “children of all ages and backgrounds with access to professional theater.” They have produced nearly 300 plays and educated over 4 million children. SCT has two theaters as well as a technical pavilion, which was the first of its kinds. Tickets for your field trip are $15 for all participants, whether teachers, students, or chaperones. SCT does have a scholarship program to help with your free and reduced lunch students. For every 25 tickets, you’ll receive one free ticket.
The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation Discovery Center is located in downtown Seattle, near the Museum of Pop Culture. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. The center has numerous exhibits, both permanent and special. The special exhibits focus on the connections between work that the Gates Foundation is doing and the Seattle community. Permanent exhibits highlight The Foundation’s work to reduce inequities that are interconnected with poverty, health, and education. Teachers have several options for field trips: there is a 90 min special exhibit, a discovery center school tour (60 minutes), plus self-guided options. Although there is not a cafeteria on premise, there is a nearby food court that many participants use.
The Seattle Aquarium is located near Pike Place Market, in downtown Seattle. Not only can students explore ocean and aquatic animals close up, they also have an opportunity to explore a Puget Sound tidal pool. At $10, field trip ticket prices are significantly lower than regular admission costs. They apply to groups of 10 or more that have preregistered. Every day the aquarium offers Story Time, with an ocean-themed story (great for younger students). They also have interactive activities that feature divers, mammals, and octopus! The aquarium also offers several classroom programs for educators to choose from. They’re organized by age group. It’s recommended to register at least two weeks prior to your desired field trip date; your reservation will be confirmed within two business days.
The Seattle Chocolate Company factory tours are $10 per person. Tours begin in a classroom setting, where your students can learn about the history and farming of chocolate. There are even actual cocoa pods and dried beans for participants to hold and engage with. The tour proceeds through the factory where, from a platform, you can watch candy being made and packaged. All throughout the tour, participants receive chocolate samples (perhaps the best part!) and a tour concludes with a chocolate tasting. Tours last fifty minutes, and generally are for up to 16 people. If your class size is larger, you’ll need to call the facility and speak with someone to arrange accommodations.
The Pacific Science Center spans 7 acres in downtown Seattle and is located near the Space Needle. The Center’s mission is to spark curiosity. Yearly it sees more than 1 million visitors. Pricing for field trips varies, depending on which package you select. Packages include different amounts of experiences and you could pay as little as $9 per student or as much as $15. With every 10 student tickets, your group will receive one free chaperone ticket. The Center has an Imax theater, a planetarium, a butterfly house, and 100s of hands-on science exhibits for your students to explore.