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School Safaris

School Safaris

Journey out into the field for an unforgettable hands-on learning experience. The Virginia Living Museum’s science safaris give students an exciting combination of in-class laboratory instruction and hands-on topical field study.

Developed under a Virginia Environmental Endowment grant as model programs for high school students, the Museum’s science safaris are combined laboratory and field classes that stress field study, experimentation, data collection and analysis. After an introduction to the day’s topic, students will leave the classroom behind to become immersed in a first-hand learning experience in the natural world.

Length of Session: 6 to 12+ hours (varies with topic)
Number of Students: Maximum of 25
Fees for Contract Schools: Please call for information
Fees for non-contract schools: $30 per student ($660 minimum per program) Cave Ecology $35 per student, $700 minimum.

Fuel surcharge may apply. ALL safari bookings will be required to provide their own transportation to the site.

Safaris are field study programs. They do not include a self-guided visit to the Museum’s exhibits. Follow the suggested procedures for reserving a science safari.

For more information or to make a reservation, call the Reservations Coordinator at 757-595-9135 Monday-Friday, 9am – 4:30pm or complete the online request form.

Funded in part by BayPort Credit Union.

Cave Ecology

Grades 7-12
Science SOLs LS.6 LS.8 LS.10 LS.11 ES.1 ES.2 ES.7 ES.8 BIO.1 BIO.4 BIO.8


Traverse the rocky trail through Fountain Cave in Grottos, Virginia. Using only headlights and flashlights to guide your way, this adventure will take you through the twilight, middle and dark zones of a geologically old cave. Learn about cave formations, the ecological importance of caves and maybe encounter a cave animal or two. (Note: This is a strenuous trip. Participants must be able to walk easily without assistance on uneven ground including some steep slopes.)

Estuarine Ecology, a “Meaningful Watershed Experience” Program

Grades 7-12
Science SOLs LS.4 LS.6 LS.8 LS.9 LS.10 LS.11 BIO.1 BIO.4 BIO.6 BIO.8

Grab a paddle and lets go canoeing on the Chesapeake Bay. Collect data pertaining to weather, salinity, and other physical factors and learn how they play a part in the ecology of the Bay. Spend some time collecing evidence of marine life and explore ways we can better protect these amazing creatures.

school-safari-2Freshwater Aquatics

Grades 7-12
Science SOLs LS.4 LS.6 LS.8 LS.9 LS.11 BIO.1 BIO.4 BIO.6 BIO.8 CH.1

Cruise along through a beautiful swamp ecosystem in a canoe. Throuhout the trip you will be conducting experiments to understand the chemistry, light depth, and oxygen content of this freshwater system. Experience the specialized plants and animals that are adapted to live in such a unique environment.


Grades 6-12
Science SOLs LS.4 LS.8 LS.13 ES.1 ES.2 ES.9 BIO.4 BIO.6 BIO.7 BIO.8

Reveal fossils of organisms that were once prolific in Virginia 3-5 million years ago. Hand-collect these fossils in the field, learn how they became fossils, and gain basic identification skills. Make a connection between these fossils and their modern day relatives and discuss why these organisms are still significant today.

Outreach/Safaris (pdf)