Field Trips

February 23, 2022

LIGO Hanford Observatory has suspended all school field trips until late spring 2022, at the earliest, when we hope to open the brand new LIGO Exploration Center, LExC! We will update this page as soon as we are able to resume taking field trip reservations.

In an effort to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19, LIGO Hanford Observatory will not host field trips until late spring 2022, at the earliest. We apologize for the inconvenience. NOTE: the observatory is also currently closed to public and private tours, and drop-in visitation. See the Public Tours page for more information.

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

As with all other educational outreach activities, Homeschool Field Trips are also suspended until the Covid pandemic has ended.


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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