Field Trips

January 4, 2021


In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 both to the public and to staff, the LIGO Hanford Observatory is closed for all tours, field trips, and drop-in visitation of exhibits until July 2021. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The LIGO Hanford Observatory offers FREE field trips for students of all ages. Field trips are available Tuesday – Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and last 2 to 3 hours. Trips include a walking tour of the observatory, during which students learn about our search for gravitational waves, meet and interact with LIGO scientists and engineers, get a fantastic view of the arms of our interferometer stretching 4 km (2.5 miles) off into the distance, see the control room, and explore hands-on exhibits.

LIGO is a genuinely multidisciplinary project that encompasses many science, math, and engineering concepts. Several Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are clearly illustrated by the work conducted here. We stand at the forefront of modern science and technology, and while some aspects of LIGO are fairly advanced, visits to LIGO are engaging to students of all ages.


Field Trips for Homeschoolers

Please note: LHO will not be hosting any homeschool days in the 2019-2020 school year. This is because we are devoting an extraordinary amount of time and energy to planning the construction of a brand new interactive outreach center. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Additional Information and How to Schedule a Regular Field Trip

  • There are no food facilities at LIGO. If you wish to eat lunch during your visit, please plan to bring your own.
  • We recommend one chaperone for every 10 students.
  • LIGO Hanford's location isn't recognized by most mapping and direction-finding services. Please check our web-viewable driving directions to help your field trip bus find our facility.

We will contact you upon receipt of your request.

LIGO field trips are free thanks to generous support from the United States National Science Foundation

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