Field Trips

Thank you for your interest in a school field trip to Vancouver’s Water Center. We are currently booked for the 2023-24 school year, but are happy to add you to our Wait List. Should program openings become available, we will contact group leaders in the order their wait list request was received.

If you would like to be added to the Wait List, review the program information and instructions below.

Field trip to beach and waterfront

2023-24 Field Trip Wait List

To be added to the wait list for a 2023-24 field trip, review the “Planning Your Visit” and “Field Trip Program Descriptions” sections below, then send an email with the following information to: Suzanne Hebert, Water Resources Educator,

Planning Your Visit

As you consider planning a field trip to the Water Center, please note the following:

Field Trip Program Descriptions

Grade 1: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

Time: 2 hours, not including lunch break or time to explore exhibits
Description: Students learn about insect life cycles and how their body parts help them to eat, move, and protect themselves. After a bug hunt in our garden, students design and build their own bug out of model magic clay to take home. Indoor and outdoor, rain or shine.

Grade 2: Tree’s Needs

Time: 2 hours, not including lunch break or time to explore exhibits
Description: Students learn what trees/plants need for survival and how they meet those needs through their structures (roots, trunk, leaves, flowers, etc.). Students then engage their senses by rotating through 5 activity stations in our outdoor garden and complete a field journal recording their observations. Indoor and outdoor, rain or shine.

Grades 3-4: Macroinvertebrate Investigations

Time: 2 hours, not including lunch break or time to explore exhibits
Description: Students will observe and identify macroinvertebrates (water bugs!) from a pond habitat, focusing on adaptations for survival. Students will also learn how the presence of specific species of macroinvertebrates can be indicators of good, fair, or poor water quality. Available Feb. through May. Indoor and outdoor, rain or shine.

Grades 5-8: Columbia River Water Quality Monitoring

Time: 4 hours w/ lunch break and time to explore exhibits (indoor and outdoor—rain or shine)
Description: Students will investigate what makes for healthy salmon habitat, then walk to the banks of the Columbia River to make observations and perform water quality tests to collect data to answer the question “Is the river healthy for salmon today?” Tests will include pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and turbidity. Indoor and outdoor, rain or shine.

Grades 6-12: Down the Drain-Tour a Wastewater Treatment Plant 

Time: 4 hours w/ lunch break (lunch includes time to explore the Exhibit Hall)
Description: Where does the water go after you take a shower, clean dishes, or flush the toilet? Take a tour* of the Marine Park Wastewater Treatment Plant to learn about the journey of wastewater and how it is cleaned. Students will use microscopes to view the microbes that assist in cleaning the water and will take a nature hike to the Columbia River to explore riparian habitat and view where the clean water is released into the river. Indoor and outdoor, rain or shine.

*Note: The treatment plant tour includes strong smells and loud noise in some areas. There are also areas that require stair climbing. Please let us know if we can provide any accommodations for your group.

Water Workshop for Educators

Currently, there are no educator workshops scheduled, but please check back for updates. If you would like to be notified about future workshops and educational opportunities, please sign up for our Educator Mailing List


For questions and additional information, please contact:
Suzanne Hebert, Water Resources Educator: or 360-487-7114