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.
Special Note for Homeschoolers
If you are a homeschooler and would like to bring your kids to LIGO for a field trip, we will now be offering two special Homeschool Field Trip days, one in the fall, and one in the spring. Activities on these days will generally be grouped by age. The Fall Homeschool day is scheduled for Thursday, November 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The spring date has yet to be determined.
If you would like to join us for the Fall Homeschool Field trip, please complete this November 2018 Homeschool Field Trip Request form.
Additional Information and How to Schedule a Regular Field Trip
NOTE: All Spring, 2019 field trips will be scheduled beginning in November
- 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.
To schedule a field trip for Fall, 2018, complete the "Field Trip Request Form" below (Note: Spring field trips will be scheduled beginning in November):
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