Preparing for Your Visit

Thank you for chaperoning your students during their field trip experience at HudsonAlpha! We look forward to hosting your group, and we are excited to meet you and your students.

While at HudsonAlpha, please actively monitor your students and help them have the best experience possible. Supportive chaperones who can quickly and quietly handle any minor disruptions will ensure that HudsonAlpha educators can focus completely on making your experience exceptional for your entire group.

Chaperones are encouraged to ask questions and model appropriate behaviors for the students.

A bus driver who would like to take advantage of grant funding for a paid lunch must be present in the Teaching Lab and actively engage as a chaperone throughout the experience.

Please review the following resources to help you prepare for a field trip at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology:

All students are provided with a lab coat, as well as goggles and gloves, to use when necessary. The Teaching Lab is equipped with safety equipment found in all HudsonAlpha laboratory spaces, and employees are trained for emergencies. We also have an on-site police officer and EMT. Please let us know if any student and/or chaperone has any allergies or needs accommodations.

For your protection, visitors to our lab space are asked to wear closed-toe shoes. Those with long hair should have a way to secure the hair, should it interfere with an experiment. Food and drinks are not allowed in the lab space, but can be left in a designated area right outside of the lab.

Our lab is an interactive space for trying on the career of science. All students are encouraged to take on the role of a scientist by asking questions, thinking outside of the box and exploring. Part of experiencing new processes and tools often involves making mistakes. Our lab space is a safe zone for honest mistakes! If mistakes or accidents do happen, students and/or chaperones should notify a member of HudsonAlpha immediately.

It is important to remind students that HudsonAlpha is a place of business. Behaviors that are perfectly acceptable in a middle school or high school environment are not necessarily acceptable in a professional setting. Visitors and guests of the Institute are expected to respect the space at all times. Please remind your students that they must move through the public areas of the Institute very quietly and without running. Inside the Teaching Lab, students are encouraged to ask questions, make connections, and actively participate in discussions. In order to make the experience enjoyable for every student, cell phone usage during the experience is not allowed – however, we do like to provide the opportunity for photos to be taken, time permitting.

In the event that students become overly disruptive or refuse to follow instructions from HudsonAlpha employees, groups may be asked to leave the premises.

Chaperones are encouraged to actively monitor the group. For more information for chaperones, please view our Chaperone Guide.

If the threat of inclement weather exists, HudsonAlpha personnel shall refer to the closure decisions of Huntsville City Schools (HCS) when considering the cancellation of HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach K-12 programmatic activities. When HCS announces school closures or early dismissals due to inclement weather, HudsonAlpha Educational Outreach K-12 programmatic activities scheduled during those corresponding timeframes will also be cancelled. In the event that HCS is not in session, HudsonAlpha personnel shall review sufficient pertinent and available information to determine if a program should be cancelled.

Any participants on campus at the point an active tornado warning is issued for our area shall be immediately sheltered-in-place in the closest designated area until the warning expires.

Field trips will be held in the Educational Teaching Lab in HudsonAlpha’s main building as well as Sheppard and McCrary Teaching Labs in the Paul Propst Center on campus. Parking and arrival instructions will vary for each building. We will send your group’s detailed information prior to arrival.

When you arrive, a HudsonAlpha educator will meet you outside and direct you into the building. Groups are not permitted to enter HudsonAlpha more than 15 minutes prior to your experience. If your group should arrive more than 15 minutes before your experience, please remain in your vehicle(s). Due to security procedures, a HudsonAlpha employee must escort Institute guests at all times.

  • Cummings Research Park and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology are a tobacco-free environment. Please refrain from any consumption of tobacco during your visit to HudsonAlpha.