Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips

Can’t make it to Meijer Gardens for a field trip on site? Connect with one of our educators from your classroom or home for a live, interactive educational program! Schedule your virtual field trip by emailing fieldtrips@meijergardens.org.

Butterfly Life Cycle

Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet? How much does a monarch caterpillar grow in 2 weeks? In this program, students learn about metamorphosis and discuss insect anatomy, camouflage and other amazing defensive and adaptation strategies. 

This program pairs well with a self-led tour during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming (March through April) but can be scheduled any time during the year.

Recommended Age Range: K-3rd grade

Program Length: 45 minutes

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS: 1-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • NGSS: 1-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Reservation Requirements: Two weeks preregistration required: please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org to register.

Capacity: Each virtual field trip can accommodate up to two classrooms (or 50 students).

Cost: $75.00 (To inquire about applying for a scholarship see “Costs and Scholarship” tab. Please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org)

Examining Adaptations: Wing It!

Students become butterfly detectives to discover how butterfly wings are not just beautiful—they’re critical to survival. Students will learn how butterflies fly and how their wings help to keep them safe from predators. Students will also observe pinned specimens and discover wings that are perfectly clear (providing camouflage) and wings that advertise they’re poisonous through bright colors. Those who look closely will discover what else wings can reveal—from a butterfly’s gender to its age. Participants will engage in an interactive critical thinking activity assessed by a game-based quiz to see how much they’ve learned.

This program pairs well with a self-led tour during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming (March through April) but can be scheduled any time during the year.

Recommended Age Range: 4th-6th grade

Program Length: 45 minutes

Curriculum Connections:

​Michigan Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 3-Ls3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • 3-Ls4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Reservation Requirements: Two weeks preregistration required: please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org to register.

Capacity: Each virtual field trip can accommodate up to two classrooms (or 50 students).

Cost: $75.00 (Scholarships may be available: Please see “Costs and Scholarships” tab for more information)

Art & Science of Observation

Learn to observe like scientists and artists. Students will use careful looking and sketching to discover how artists create sculptures and why plants in different biomes look so different from one another. Students will investigate the features of desert and tropical plants and explore nature-inspired sculpture, all while using sketching and note-taking to sharpen their observation skills. 

Recommended Age Range: 2nd-5th grade

Program Length: 45 minutes

Curriculum Connections:

Michigan Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 4-Ls3-1 Construct and argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior and reproduction

4th Grade Visual Arts Standards:

  • ART.VA.II.4.4 Analyze and reflect on the uses of subject matter, symbols, and ideas to express and communicate meaning in artwork. 
  • Standard 5: Recognize, analyze, and describe connections among the arts; between the arts and other disciplines; between the arts and everyday life. (VPAA: C2, C3, C4, C5, P2, P3, R1, R2, R3, R4) 

Reservation Requirements: Two weeks preregistration required: please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org to register

Capacity: Each virtual field trip can accommodate up to two classrooms (or 50 students).

Cost: $75.00 (Scholarships may be available: Please see “Costs and Scholarships” tab for more information)

My Inner Artist: Andy Goldsworthy

Allow the ephemeral art of Andy Goldsworthy to inspire students to create their own art with natural materials. Students will investigate the principles of line and color in Goldsworthy’s works and discover how the artist collaborates with nature to create works of art that seem to defy physics.

Recommended Age Range: 3rd-12th grade (Can be adapted to younger age levels depending on comfort level with technology)

Program Length: 45 minutes

Curriculum Connections:

Michigan Merit Curriculum: Standards for Visual Arts:

  • Standard 1: Apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts
  • Standard 2: Apply skills and knowledge to create in the arts
  • Standard 3: Analyze, describe and evaluate works of art

National Core Arts Standards:

  • Anchor Standard #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.

Reservation Requirements: Two weeks preregistration required: please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org to register

Capacity: Each virtual field trip can accommodate up to two classrooms (or 50 students).

Cost: $75.00 (Scholarships may be available: Please see “Costs and Scholarships” tab for more information)

Biomes & Adaptations

Explore the incredible adaptations of plants in our Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Learn how plants in tropical biomes survive in an environment with lots of rain and competition for sunlight, then use Google Earth to compare tropical forests from around the globe.

Recommended Age Range: 2nd-5th grade

Program Length: 45 minutes 

Curriculum Connections: 

Michigan Next Generation Science Standard:

  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Common Core ELA Literacy Standard:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3

Reservation Requirements: Two weeks preregistration required: please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org to register

Capacity: Each virtual field trip can accommodate up to two classrooms (or 50 students).

Cost: $75.00 (Scholarships may be available: Please see “Costs and Scholarships” tab for more information)

Wild About Wetlands

Why are wetlands important? Explore the wetland at Meijer Gardens while discovering ways wetlands provide habitat, absorb rainwater and filter pollutants. Students will think like scientists by making observations, asking questions, watching an experiment, and drawing conclusions about the importance of these natural spaces.

Recommended Age Range: 3rd-8th grade

Program Length: 45 minutes

Curriculum Connections:

Michigan Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • 4-ESS2-2. Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
  • 4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
  • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • MS-ESS2-4. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.

Exploring Holiday Traditions

Students will explore examples of traditional objects and practices from countries around the world and work together to discover what diverse traditions have in common. Students will then share their stories about traditions they celebrate at home and draft a plan for sharing their traditions with others.

Recommended age range: K – 12th Grade

Program Length: 45 minutes

Curriculum Connections: 

Social Studies:

  • G4 Human Systems – Understand how human activities helpshape the Earth’s surface.
  • 1 – G4.0.1 Use components of culture (e.g., foods, language, religion, traditions) to describe diversity in family life.

Visual Arts:

  • ART.VA.IV.K.2 Identify and talk about artwork found around the world.
  • ART.VA.IV.6.1 Recognize and describe how art contributes to and reflects all societies and cultures.
  • .VA.IV.HS.1 Observe and describe artwork with respect to history and culture.

Availability: Available during the University of Michigan Health–West Christmas & Holiday Traditions Exhibition (November 23 - January 2). 

Reservation Requirements: Two weeks preregistration required: please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org to register.

Capacity: Each virtual field trip can accommodate up to two classrooms (or 50 students).

Cost: Cost: $75.00 (Scholarships may be available: Please see “Costs and Scholarships” tab for more information.

Costs and Scholarships

Virtual Field Trips are $75 per program. 

Each virtual field trip can accommodate up to two classrooms (or 50 students).

Scholarships to cover the full cost of the program may be available for Title I schools in which 40% or more of students meet the federal guidelines and qualifications for additional supportive services. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Teachers may be granted only one Meijer Gardens scholarship award per fiscal year (October 1- September 30).

To inquire about applying for a scholarship, please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org.