Field Trip FAQs
Who is eligible to participate in field trips offered at HudsonAlpha?
We have field trip experiences for groups of 10 or more students in grades 6-12.
How do I request a field trip to HudsonAlpha?
Please visit the HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach website to complete the field trip request form.
Is previous experience required?
Previous laboratory experience is not required. However, students must be willing to think scientifically, work collaboratively, receive and follow directions, and act in a professional and respectful manner at all times.
When are field trips offered?
Field trips are offered on Monday through Friday during the months of August through May.
Middle school experiences and high school half-day experiences start at 8:30 am or 9:00 am and last 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the experience. Full-day high school experiences may start at 8:30 or 9:00 am and generally end between 1:30 and 3:00 pm, depending on the experience. Genetically Modified Snacks? requires a minimum of six hours.
Please contact Mrs. April Reis at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require a different arrival or departure time.
What are the size limitations and chaperone ratios for each group?
The Teaching Lab has capacity for 32 students and up to 3 chaperones. To request a field trip for more than 33 students, please contact Mrs. April Reis at email@example.com.
Can I bring more than 32 students for a one-day field trip experience?
Yes! There are a limited number of opportunities for groups of 33 or more students to have a one-day field trip experience. These requests will be honored on a first come, first served basis. Requests are also honored based on availability of staff and space within the Institute. Please note Genetically Modified Snacks? and Jumping Genes! is not available to groups larger than 32 students due to equipment needs. Please contact Mrs. April Reis at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about a field trip experience for 33 or more students.
Is there a cost associated with participation?
Public schools in the state of Alabama may qualify for grant funding. This grant will cover the cost of a one-day field trip experience, which includes laboratory supplies and catered box lunches for up to 32 students and 3 chaperones. Additional chaperones may attend at a cost of $8.75 each for lunch. To qualify for funding, a minimum time of 3 hours is required for middle school groups and 4 hours for high school groups. There is a limited amount of funding available to public schools in the state of Alabama for each school year. Once funding is exhausted, schools can still schedule field trips at cost. For private schools groups in the state of Alabama and public or private school groups outside the state of Alabama:
half-day experience – $150 for up to 32 students
full-day experience – $300 for up to 32 students
Is there a cost for lunch?
A catered box lunch is provided at a cost of $8.75 per lunch. This includes ham or turkey sandwiches/wraps, chips, a cookie, and a water or soda. We also provide alternate meal options for those with dietary restrictions (vegetarian, gluten free, etc.).
Are student groups permitted to bring lunches?
Student groups are allowed to bring their own lunches. However, there is no refrigeration or microwave usage available.
Where can we eat lunch?
HudsonAlpha has an on-site bistro, from which catered box lunches are ordered. Due to scheduling limitations and physical capacity of the bistro, field trip student groups are not permitted to order lunch directly from the bistro. Prior to your visit, you will be asked to provide the dietary restrictions of your students and chaperones so that we can meet the catering needs of your group.
Can my group and I take pictures?
Yes! Groups may take pictures and video outside the Institute. While inside, pictures and video are allowed in designated places. The staff of HudsonAlpha will inform you of area(s) where photography and video is allowed. Taking photos and video in prohibited areas of the building may result in being asked to leave the Institute.
What happens if my group and I arrive earlier than my scheduled time?
Upon scheduling your experience, you will be given an arrival and departure time. We will make every attempt to align your arrival and departure times with your requests, as room and staff availability permits. We must ask that groups arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled start time. If your group should arrive more than 15 minutes before your experience, please remain on the bus/in your vehicle until your designated time. At that time, a member of the HudsonAlpha Education Outreach will be in the atrium to greet you. Due to security procedures at HudsonAlpha, a HudsonAlpha employee must escort all visitors and guests of the Institute.
How do we pay for field trips?
HudsonAlpha will invoice the school the day after your field trip experience has occurred. If you would like to pay prior to, or at the time of your experience, please contact Education Outreach at email@example.com.
What if the number of students or chaperones attending changes?
Please contact Education Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org with your final numbers no later than 48 business hours before your arrival. If the actual number of people attending is a difference of +/- 3 of your final numbers submitted, you/your school will be financially responsible for the difference in lunches ordered, after +/- 3 individuals. For example, if you order 28 lunches and bring 20 individuals the day of, you will be responsible for 5 lunches at a cost of $8.75 per lunch.
What is the cancellation policy?
In the event you must cancel your upcoming experience, please contact us no later than 48 hours before your experience. Late cancellations or no shows may result in your group being charged the full price of the experience, including the cost of lunches if applicable. Please contact email@example.com to cancel your experience, subject line: Field Trip Cancellation.
What is the weather cancellation policy?
In the event of severe weather, please let us know as soon as you are aware of the need to cancel. The safety of you and your students is our primary concern, and we will attempt to reschedule your experience, pending scheduling and staff availability. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel your experience, subject line: Field Trip Cancellation.
Can my group have more than one field trip experience in a school year?
Yes. However, grant funding for Alabama public schools will only cover the cost of a single, one-day field trip experience per teacher, per school year.
Can I select my group’s speaker?
The staff of Educational Outreach and the speakers work collaboratively based on the availability of speakers. Selection of a group’s speaker will be determined by staff and based on speaker availability and the target audience.
Are the field trips aligned to AL Course of Study?Yes! There is a document that shows how each experience supports the Alabama Course of Study. Visit the Field Trip Experiences page to find links to high school and middle school COS alignment.
Who is leading field trips?
April Reis, an experienced member of the HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach team, will lead all field trip experiences. Throughout the experience, students may also interact with other members of the Educational Outreach team.
How can I prepare my students and our chaperones for the field trip?