LIGO Hanford Observatory is now scheduling field trips for the spring 2023 field trip season. Requests for fall 2023 field trips will be accepted beginning July 1, 2023. Please fill out the field trip request form below to schedule your visit.
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. Field Trips include time visiting LExC, LHO's new education center, home to many interactive science exhibits; and a walking tour of the observatory, during which students learn about our search for gravitational waves, meet and interact with LIGO scientists and engineers, view the 4km (2.5mi)-long arms of the interferometer reaching into the Eastern Washington shrub steppe, and visit the instrument's control room.
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
We have designated field trip days for homeschool groups in order to ensure that we are able to provide the best possible experience during your visit. The next LIGO Homeschool Day is currently scheduled for Friday October 6th 2023 from 12:30pm to 3:00pm! This page will be updated with information on how to register for this event on July 1st.
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. A large outdoor patio with picnic tables is now available at LExC.
- We recommend one chaperone for every 10 students.
- Though the LIGO Hanford Observatory's location is now 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