School & Teacher Programs

Schedule a Field Trip

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.

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.
  • Field trips are primarily offered Tuesday – Friday. For requests outside of this timeframe, please contact us here.

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)

Petals & Pages Standards

Pollinator Palooza

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. (1st-3rd)

Pollinator Palooza 1st-3rd Standards

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. (4th-5th)

The Scoop on Soil 4th-5th Standards

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. (6th-8th)

Ecosystems on the Edge 6th-8th Standards

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. (9th-12th)

Wonders of Water 9th-12th School Standards

Rainforest Trek

Take a trek through the tropical rainforest in this interactive, guided 45–60-minute tour. Explore our indoor gardens with tropical-themed learning stations on this unique ecosystem, interact with rainforest products, and visit the Kemin Plant Sciences Lab to learn more about the variety of tropical plant adaptations.

Independent Study

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. Discuss the specifics with our Youth Education Coordinator to learn how you can lead an Independent Study with your class. (All Grades)
For groups larger than 50, we recommend the Rainforest Trek or unguided Independent Study visit options. Please submit the form and we will be in touch to discuss further logistics.

Minimum of 8 Students

  • $6 per Student
  • chaperones free (in 1:8 ratio grades Pre-K-8th)
  • chaperones free (in 1:15 ratio grades 9-12th)
  • Extra chaperones (outside ratio): general admission ($12)

Minimum of 8 Students

  • $5 per Student
  • chaperones free (in 1:8 ratio grades Pre-K-8th)
  • chaperones free (in 1:15 ratio grades 9-12th)
  • Extra chaperones (outside ratio): general admission ($12)

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