School Field Trip Programs

Arboretum and Botanical Garden at Cal State Fullerton is a plant museum that serves as learning platform for students of all ages. When you visit an Arboretum, it is like visiting a museum because you need to stay on the paths, you learn by looking and you can’t pick up things and take them home. What is special about an arboretum is that scientists use it to research plants for many purposes and visitors learn about science and beauty of plants.

Our program for schools planning to visit provides two different learning opportunities. We offer self-guided opportunities which may include Discovery Stations (based on volunteer docent availability) featuring different habitats, animals and themes of our environment. Self-guided visits may be scheduled any day of the week, between 10am and 3pm. Our guided field trips for K-5 students align with next generation science standards and may be scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and take place 9am-11am.

We do not allow food inside the Arboretum and if you plan to include lunch in your visit you may use the picnic tables outside the front entrance.

Please review our Field Trip options and submit your request at least 4 weeks in advance of your visit.

Learning at Discovery Stations

gradeschool student looking at bees

Discovery stations are a form of Informal Science Education (ISE) that is often seen in natural history museums, zoos and botanic gardens.  ISE promotes free-choice learning and the use of authentic artifacts.  We have developed a series of discovery stations that highlight the habitats found here and make use of the principles of ISE.  Each station includes artifacts authentic to the habitat.  The artifacts are meant to be held by visitors and inspire questions that lead to learning.  Students can focus on which artifacts interest them, reflecting the principle of free choice.

Each Discovery Station has a volunteer docent to answer any questions.  Social interaction is another component of ISE and our discovery stations maximize learning through interactions between peers and volunteers.  It is our intent to make use of ISE to complement the formal science education that takes place in the classroom.

Self-Guided Field Trips

These field trips are best for groups with fewer than 30 students, grade levels from 6th grade and up or groups that cannot accommodate the scheduling requirements for a guided field trip. When you submit a request for a self-guided field trip, upon approval of your request and confirmation of your visit date, you will receive prep material to support your science teaching while guiding your students through the garden.

Guided Field Trips

These field trips are for K-5 students,  align with next generation science standards and provide a science based experience for teachers to expand upon in their classrooms using this introduction as a jumping board. Students will make use of scientific practices by making observations and recording them in a provided journal. There are two different options for guided field trips:

Investigating Biomes – A biome is a major life zone. It can be classified by the plants and animals that live in it. Temperature, soil and the amount of light and water help determine what life exists in a biome. Your students will investigate the pond, desert and chaparral biomes.

Trees Are Essential – Trees are an essential part of our environment. They are important to plants, fungi, wildlife and people. They provide countless benefits, like oxygen, shelter and food. Your students will learn how trees are beneficial to humans and animals and how trees survive and grow.

School Trip Form

Guided Field Trip Requirements:

  • Available Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 9am-11am.
  • Scheduling: Field trips must be scheduled and approved at least 4 weeks in advance.
  • Groups size: minimum of 30 students, maximum of 96 including students, teachers and chaperones.
  • Teachers must assign their students evenly to groups A, B and C before arrival as each group rotates through the 3 areas of each field trip.
  • Cost: The Arboretum is self-supporting. A fee of $5 per person helps support the garden and make these experiences possible.
  • Cancellations: If for some reason you need to cancel your visit, please do so at least 24 hours in advance of your date. No shows will not be rescheduled. We reserve the right to cancel a field trip with 48 hours of your visit should there be inclement weather or other unplanned events.


Study Abroad advisor meeting with student


No matter where you are in the Study Abroad process, our advisors are always here to help you create an ideal Study Abroad experience that will align with both your personal and academic goals. To schedule an appointment or learn more about walk-in advising, please visit our Contact page.

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