Hands-on learning happens like nowhere else at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery! Daily activities create a new experience every visit, engaging students of all ages and levels with an innovative blend of history, science, and culture content. Our open floor plan encourages unique flow-through topic adjacencies, so every teacher can plan a route specific to their students’ needs. Start planning your visit today!
Your field trip experience will include:
- Brief museum orientation led by a School Group Host
- Self-guided gallery exploration of our standards-based permanent exhibits
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery has an innovative blend of history, science, and culture. Our open floor plan has unique, interactive exhibits with topic themes that flow smoothly between adjacent exhibit zones. The variety of themes allows every teacher to plan a route specific to his or her students’ needs.
To help you plan for your visit, explore which exhibits support the science, social studies, and music standards for your grade level. Click on the link below to download a matrix that shows how our exhibits correlate with the Colorado Academic Standards.
Field Trip Reservations & Pricing
To make a field trip reservation, you must have a minimum group size of 15 visitors. Field trip reservations and payment must be made at least 2 weeks in advance to receive the group rate. School groups may arrive as early as 9:00am, Tuesday-Friday.
To provide the best experience for your students and for the safety of all visitors, we require a 1:5 ratio of chaperones to students. If you meet or exceed the 1:5 chaperone ratio, chaperones will receive free museum admission. If you do not meet the 1:5 chaperone ratio, ALL chaperones will pay the adult general admission rate (see price grid below). If your group is viewing a Digital Dome show, ALL chaperones are charged Digital Dome fees.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery strives to make hands-on education accessible for every student in our community. In collaboration with our school districts, FCMoD offers discounted group rates to all schools for field trips. The museum offers further field trip discounts to schools with 40% or greater Free & Reduced Lunch eligibility (as cited by the Colorado Department of Education or the Wyoming State Board of Education for the 2018-19 school year). These additional discounts are commensurate with the school’s overall Free & Reduced rate and apply across the full field trip experience (dome shows, labs, etc.) Please contact the museum’s Education Office at 970-416-2769 or see our Reservation Request Form for more details. To check your school’s eligibility please click here for Colorado Schools and here for Wyoming Schools.
Looking for additional financial support for your field trip? Check out the Poudre Heritage Alliance to see if your school would be eligible to apply for a field trip grant!
Organized Youth Groups
Admission for children in an organized youth group is $7/youth. Organized youth groups do not qualify for any Free & Reduced lunch discounts. All other group rates apply for organized youth groups. During the museum’s peak visitation times (winter break, spring break, summer break, etc.) organized youth group sizes may be capped. Please contact the Museum’s Education Office at (970) 416-2769 for more details. All other group policies apply for organized youth groups.
Customize your visit by adding additional experiences!
Electro Lab: Electricity
Age: Grade 3-6
Our video games use it, our phones use it, and our hearts use it. Electricity is at the center of our world, and it’s easy to understand. Build power circuits, ignite light bulbs with your hand, and make your hair stand up with currents of electricity!
Age: Aligned for Grade 4, appropriate for Grades 3-5
Have you ever wondered how your favorite video game characters get from paper to screen? It’s as easy as 01, 10, 21… well, at least, if you know binary! In this lab, your students will explore the basics of binary code, pixels, and the RBG color model through hands-on investigations and simulations. As their final challenge, students will mimic the process of video game graphic creation by taking on the roles of artists, coders, and computers – transmitting an colorful image from one classmate to another using only 0s and 1s!
Age: Grade 1-4
This Learning Lab includes a live animal presentation.
Become a field biologist as nature becomes your laboratory. Meet the animals at the museum and create illustrations of what makes each animal unique! Your scientific illustrations will transom into a visual encyclopedia to inspire future conservationists!
Creatures of the Sea Lab: Squid Dissection
Age: Grade 4-6
Some people eat them, some people fear them. Squids are some of the most interesting creatures of the sea! Discover how their bodies are different from our own by getting a look inside them!
Age: Grade K-2, Grade 3-6
If you were going to visit another planet, what would your mission be? Students will design and engineer their very own satellite or rover from recycled materials to further explore our solar system!
Age: Aligned for Grade 1, appropriate for grades 1-3
Music is all around us, but do you know the science behind it? In this lab, your students will conduct (pun intended) hands-on experiments to unravel the mysteries of sound. Through three hands-on investigations using everything from tuning forks to DIY kazoos, students will explore what causes sound, how we can see sound move, and what materials sound moves through best. At the end, your students will hear what happens when we place a buzzer in a vacuum chamber. Rock on!
Colorado History Rendezvous
Age: Grades 2-4
Come one, come all to the FCMoD Rendezvous! Experience for yourself how trappers, traders, miners, and Native communities all came together to survive and thrive in Northern Colorado during the mid-1800s. Pan for gold, identify tracks and scats from Colorado animals, and determine opportunity cost during a special Rendezvous trading game.
Available Tuesdays/Fridays, Weather Dependent
Age: Grade 3-5
Become a paleontologist on a quest to uncover the next ancient monster! Your interpretation skills will be tested as you find and study fossils. Discover how fossils are made and create your own to take home with you!
A is for Apple
Age: Pre-K – Kindergarten
Apples are a tasty treat, but they’re also a great way to engage your students in science, technology, engineering, art, and math! In this lab, students will follow the life cycle of an apple tree, engineer apple slice structures to make 3-D shapes, stack apples to practice math skills, create their own apple art, and even see whether red or green apples contain more juice. It’ll be an apple-solutely great time!
Heart Healthy Lab: Heart Dissection
Age: Grade 4-6
Your heart is a magical muscle. Learn about why your heart health is so important by studying and dissecting hearts. You’ll even learn some exercises to keep that ticker of yours strong!
Sink or Float?
Age: Pre-K – Kindergarten
Inspire the natural-born scientist in your child! Children will engage their curiosity by making predictions and observations about whether different objects will sink or float when placed in water – the scientific method in action! After this guided exploration, the class will listen to a reading of “Who Sank the Boat?” before building and testing their own weight-bearing boat. Will it sink … or float?
Available Wednesdays/Thursdays, Weather Dependent
Age: Grade 2-4
Journey through time at the Heritage Courtyard. You’ll get tours of all four historic buildings: The Antoine Janis Cabin, The Auntie Stone Cabin, The Boxelder Schoolhouse, and The Franz-Smith Cabin. Each stop will give you a unique perspective of Fort Collins from before its foundation up to the 1920s!
Age: Pre-K – Grade 2
Join us in the OtterBox Digital Dome Theater as storybooks come to life for delightful and educational journeys through the natural world! Choose the story your class would like to see, and follow it up with creative hands-on activities.
The OtterBox Digital Dome Theater is a unique immersive learning space for students of all ages. New concepts and content come alive in this environment, and even familiar material can be experienced and understood in a whole new way.
The Dome is a 39’ diameter, 360° digital theater where viewers are surrounded by high-resolution video and audio. The theater has 80 fixed seats and an ADA-accessible seating area.
The OtterBox Digital Dome is not just a planetarium. In addition to astronomy content, we also provide content in the life sciences and earth sciences. Your group can choose to view any of our current fulldome shows.
The Dome is available for custom show scheduling prior to 10:30 and during the noon hour, Tuesday-Friday. School groups are also welcome to attend any of our regularly scheduled public shows.
Lunch space is available at FCMoD! While there is no in-house catering, groups are welcome to bring sack lunches to eat onsite. Learning Lab rental for lunches is $15 per 30 minutes. Each Learning Lab can fit up to 36 seated students, and the two Labs can be opened up to accommodate up to 72 seated students at a time. Depending on the size of the group, lunch space may only be available on a rotational basis. FCMoD is also next door to Lee Martinez Park, which offers outside lunch option for groups. It is just a short walk into the park, which has covered picnic tables as well as a playground.