Squam Lakes Natural Science Center - Nearer To Nature
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For Teachers: Field Trips

Make learning come alive at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center! Give your students the opportunity to connect to the natural world through a program at the Science Center or your school. Outdoor programs offer hands-on explorations of fields, forests, and ponds at the Science Center or the natural areas in your schoolyard. Indoor programs provide unique and up close encounters with live native New Hampshire wildlife. Lake Education Programs provide your students with an opportunity to study the ecology of Squam Lake aboard one of the Science Center's pontoon boats.

Aligned to Next Generation Science Standards and New Hampshire Career and College-Ready Science Standards
Relevant Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Performance Expectations are listed for each program. The materials and activities presented during programs and provided in follow-up lessons help students reach the Performance Expectations. Grades listed are guidelines based on NGSS connections. Teachers may select programs that meet their needs.

To book your field trip contact Jeremy Phillips, Naturalist/School Programs Coordinator, at 603-968-7194 x 18 or schools@nhnature.org.

See programs for specific age groups by using the links below:

Grades Pre-2
Grades 3-6
Grades 6-8
Grades 9-12

Homeschool Programs
Teacher Resources

Field Trips to the Science Center:

  • Indoor Live Animal Program: These one-hour sessions in the Science Center’s amphitheater-style classrooms feature live, native New Hampshire wildlife like porcupine, coyote, skunk, woodchuck, peregrine falcon, great horned owl, and many more.
  • Outdoor Program: Give your students an active outdoor leaning experience as they make observations, collect data, use their senses, and participate in activities. These programs are one and a half hours and start with a short introduction in the classroom before heading outdoors, ending with an indoor summary featuring a live animal.
  • Lake Education Program: Take your students aboard our floating classroom to study the ecology of Squam Lake. These two-hour programs can accommodate a maximum of 42 students. Each program includes an introduction and wrap-up in the classroom. If your class size exceeds 42, you can split the group with one half enjoying the live animal exhibit trail while the other half participates in the lake program, and then switch the two groups.
  • Live Animal Exhibit Trail: See native New Hampshire animals in natural enclosures and interact with and learn from the hands-on exhibits along the self-guided three-quarter mile live animal exhibit trail. Allow a minimum of one and a half hours for the loop walk (open May 1 through November 1).
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the Ecotone Trail (1/3 mile) where field meets forest or hike the Forest Trail (2/3 mile) to learn about the forest history and animals in the forest. For a bit more exercise, climb Mt. Fayal (1 mile with elevation gain) for a bird’s eye view of Squam Lake.

Programs at Your School: We can bring live animal programs to you! These programs are the same as the ones taught at the Science Center by expert teacher naturalists. Select from programs included in our School Program brochure or customize a program for your specific interests.

School Program rates*

Field Trips to the Science Center
Exhibit Trail Open - May, June, September, October

  • Indoor Program and Exhibit Trail, $8.00 per student
  • Outdoor Program and Exhibit Trail, $11.00 per student
  • Exhibit Trail Only, $7.00 per student
  • Lake Education Program, $225 per boat

Exhibit Trail Closed - November 2 - April 30

  • Indoor Program, $5.00 per student
  • Outdoor Program, $7.00 per student

Science Center Programs at Your School

  • Indoor Live Animal Program, $6.00 per student + mileage
  • Outdoor Program, $7.00 per student + mileage

*Minimum program fees apply. See below for details.

Programs at the Science Center:

  • The minimum fee for programs held at the Science Center is $100.
  • There is $1 discount per student if two programs are reserved for the same class on the same day.
  • One adult is free for every five students. Additional adults pay the student fee. Paraeducators with a 1-on-1 student are free.
  • Indoor and Outdoor Program fees include admission to the live animal trail.
  • There is no minimum fee for exhibit trail use only.

Programs at Your School:

  • For schools 25 miles or less from the Science Center, there is a minimum fee of $125 per program.
  • For schools 25 miles or further from the Science Center there is a minimum fee of $200 per program.
  • Schools that schedule programs out of state must pay any "out-of-state" permit fees.
  • There is also a round trip travel fee for mileage. Please call 603-968-7194 x 18 for current rates.

Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel your reservation within 1 month of the program date, there is a 25% charge.
  • If you cancel your reservation within 2 weeks of the program date, there is a 50% charge.
  • Cancellations due to school closings will be accepted and no charges will be incurred.
  • Cancellations due to weather are not accepted, except thunder and lightning or severe snow or ice.
  • A rescheduling fee of $25 applies to all date changes that occur within 1 month of the program date.
  • "No Shows" will be charged full price.

Programs for Scouts: Scouts may (from Daisies to Ambassadors and Cubs to Eagles) earn badges and reach their goals through programs offered year round, including live animal presentations, lake explorations, hikes, or hands-on activities led by experienced naturalist educators. A variety of programs for scout troops are available at your site, too. We will be happy to customize a program just for your group. For information contact Education Director Audrey Eisenhauer at 603-968-7194 x 14.

To book your field trip contact Jeremy Phillips, Naturalist/School Programs Coordinator, at 603-968-7194 x 18 or schools@nhnature.org.