Field Trips

NOTE: LIGO Hanford Observatory's Spring, 2019 field trip calendar is now full. However, we would like to encourage you to submit a field trip request to be placed on our waiting list. In the event of any cancellations, wait-listed requests will be processed in the order in which they were received.

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

Update (February 19): Registration for elementary and middle school students is closed. But we still have room for high school students.

If you are a homeschooler and would like to bring your child(ren) to LIGO for a field trip, we now offer two special Homeschool Field Trip days, one in the fall and one in the spring. Activities on homeschool days are generally grouped by age. Children experience all that LIGO Hanford Observatory has to offer including hands-on and interactive science activities, engaging science demonstrations, a walking tour of the site, and the ability to speak to and ask questions of our staff scientists and others, like graduate students, who can share more about why they love science and what it is like to actually be a scientist!

We are pleased to announce that our Spring Homeschool day will be held on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019. Click the link below to register:

LHO Spring Homeschool Day Registration Form

Additional Information and How to Schedule a Regular Field Trip

NOTE: Our Spring, 2019 field trip calendar is now full. However, to be placed on our waiting list, please complete the "Field Trip Request Form" below.

  • 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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