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Virtual Field Trips

Looking for a virtual field trip experience that’s out-of-this world? Visit the Adler Planetarium virtually this summer!

Travel to our historic building on Chicago’s lakeshore through our immersive virtual environment where you can experience the scale of our universe in three dimensions, and connect with each other in ways no video chat could ever replicate. This digital experience is perfect for 4th–8th graders! Your group will have the virtual space (and the attention of our educators) all to yourselves as you learn and explore together in our unique VR-style environment. 

For K-3rd grade students, the Adler is now offering guided tours by our educators of our virtual field trip space through a video call. For 4th-8th grade classes that have technology limitations, the video call virtual field trip option is available.

Summer Virtual Field Trip sessions are now available! We’ll provide extension activities for before and after the experience to help you make the most of this cosmic classroom getaway.

Check Out This Sneak Peek

Here’s What Field-Trippers Are Saying About Their Experience

Digitized version of the Adler Planetarium building as seen in the Virtual Field trip world with a pull quote.

“It was so amazing that we could visit this museum, especially since we’re in California!”

I loved watching as my students were able to interact with each other just like in a brick and mortar scenario. They have really been missing that kind of interaction.”

I liked how we learned about the planets and go to see them in a different way. Rather then using a textbook or looking at a power point.”

Pricing

$200 per group (between 35-50 participants max including students, teachers, and staff depending on virtual field trip type). 

BOOK A SPRING SESSION NOW BOOK A SUMMER SESSION NOW

Schedule

JUNE SPRING SESSIONS

Tuesday, June 7
9:30 am, 11:00 am, 1:30 pm

Wednesday, June 1, and 8
9:30 am, 11:00 am, 1:30 pm

Thursday, June 2, and 9
11:00 am, 1:30 pm

Friday, June 3, and 10
11:00 am, 1:30 pm

JUNE SUMMER SESSIONS

Tuesday, June 29
10:00 am, 11:30 am

Tuesday, June 30
10:00 am, 11:30 am

JULY SUMMER SESSIONS

Tuesday, July 5, 12, 19, and 26
10:00 am, 11:30 am

Thursday, June 7, 14, 21, and 28
10:00 am, 11:30 am

AUGUST SUMMER SESSIONS

Tuesday, August 2, and 9
10:00 am, 11:30 am

Thursday, August 4, and 11
10:00 am, 11:30 am

*All times listed are Central Time

If a time slot is not available when you go to select during checkout, then it has already been booked. 

Registration must be booked two weeks in advance if paying by credit card (or for those who qualify for a free Virtual Field Trip) to allow for coordination of pre-field trip activities. Please refer to our refund and cancellation policy in the FAQ section should you have related questions.

About the Adler's Virtual Field Trip Technology

The Adler’s Virtual Field Trips are held in Mozilla Hubs, a VR-style environment that is accessible through each participant’s web browser. You don’t need to download special software or acquire special equipment! You can use a desktop computer, laptop, Chromebook, tablet, or mobile devices. The experience runs best on laptop and desktop computers and in Chrome and Firefox browsers. More details here!

Safety/Security

Your group will access the experience via a private link, so you will have the virtual space all to yourselves! You and any other participating adults are asked to take the lead on group expectations and management while participating in the experience.

Adler is a Tier 1 Chicago Public School vendor. 

Technical Requirements

  • The Adler’s Virtual Field Trip experience is designed to work on a variety of devices, but desktop and laptop computers provide the best experience. If tablets or smartphones are used, the quality of the experience may be affected.
  • The registrant is also responsible for verifying with their organization’s IT representative that their internet connection is sufficient, both in bandwidth and in latency, to support their full group engaging in the session simultaneously. A minimum download bandwidth of 5Mbps per participant (ex- for 35 participants, 175Mbps) and a latency under 25ms are needed.
  • The registrant is responsible for verifying that all participants’ devices are able to access the experience before booking. To test, please visit hubs.mozilla.com and this reticulum.io link. In the reticulum.io link, you should be able to view a video, but there is no sound.
  • Firefox and Chrome browsers are strongly preferred.
  • All registered participants should have access to an individual device to access the Virtual Field Trip.

Who Should Take a Virtual Field Trip?

Virtual Field Trips are designed and recommended for 4th–8th grade classes.

For younger students (K-3rd) or 4th-8th grade classes that have technology limitations, our educator guides your group through our Mozilla Hubs space on a video call.

 

Free Virtual Field Trips

Free Virtual Field Trips are not available for our summer sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a virtual field trip at the Adler and how is it different from an in-person field trip?

Virtual Field Trips at the Adler are a completely new experience, designed from the ground up with remote learners in mind. You and your students will visit a 3D immersive model of the Adler Planetarium’s beautiful exterior and surrounding grounds, learning about our solar system and exploring planets like you’ve never seen them before!

How much does it cost?

A Virtual Field Trip is $200 per session for classes up to 35 participants (inclusive of teachers and students) for our immersive style sessions and $200 per session for classes up to 50 participants (inclusive of teachers and students) for our video call style sessions.

What should I do to plan for the experience? Is it moderated or will I need to create my own lesson plan?

It is moderated live by an Adler educator. During the virtual field trip, teachers will be responsible for student management, but the experience will be led by Adler staff. 

Pre- and post-field trip activities and a how-to guide are included. 

It will be important to prepare yourself and students using the how-to guide—this is a very different experience from the video chats everyone is used to!

Do students need to be all in the same place?

No! Thanks to the magic of the internet, students can join the field trip from anywhere using a unique URL during your scheduled time period. See technology requirements below.

How long is the experience?

The immersive style session lasts from 45 to 60 minutes, and a video call style session lasts 30 to 45 minutes. If you have a time limitation, we can work with you! Let us know at vft@adlerplanetarium.org after booking.

What should I expect my students to learn during the field trip?

In the virtual environment, immersive session groups will experience the size and scale of our solar system directly—by using an avatar to  “walk” around models of the planets, moons, and other solar system objects and noticing the differences between them. Being able to explore in three dimensions also creates opportunities for students to interact with each other more like they would in a physical space—they can have small group discussions, linger on items that interest them, and make discoveries with their friends. This experience is created with NGSS space science standards for middle school in mind, especially MS-ESS1-3.

What age range or grade level is this appropriate for?

Our immersive style session is designed for 4th-8th grade students, while our video call style session is for K-3rd grade students and 4th-8th grade students who do not have the technical requirements for an immersive session.

We look forward to creating more virtual field trip experiences for a wider range of students. If you would like to help Adler as we develop programming and resources for teachers and students, please join the Teacher Evaluator Group!

How can I schedule a Virtual Field Trip?

Click on this registration form to book a spring Virtual Field Trip with us!

Click on this registration form to book a summer Virtual Field Trip with us!

What happens after I register?

You’ll receive an email confirming the date and time of your field trip as well as pre- and post-field trip activities and a how-to guide. 

It will be important to prepare yourself and students using the how-to guide—this is a very different experience from the video chats everyone is used to!

I’m not in the Chicago area, can I still schedule a Virtual Field Trip?

Yes! While the Adler’s primary educational audience continues to be Chicago-area schools, a completely online experience means your class can attend from anywhere.

Are there accessibility options?

Because Mozilla Hubs is a new application, accessibility features are not yet available to us. Please email us at vft@adlerplanetarium.org with your specific needs so we can talk further.

What is the capacity?

For the best experience with our immersive style Virtual Field Trip sessions, we recommend a cohort of around 25-30 people, inclusive of both students and staff, with no more than 35. We’ve found that video and audio quality are significantly affected when there are between 30–35 people in the space. If your class is on the large side, we encourage you to consider booking two sessions. 

For our video call style Virtual Field Trip sessions, up to 50 people can participate.

What is your rescheduling and cancellation policy?

Contact us as soon as possible—no later than TWO weeks prior to your virtual field trip date—so that we can reschedule your Virtual Field Trip for another date. Cancellations made less than TWO WEEKS prior will not receive a refund. 

The registrant is responsible for verifying that all participants’ devices are able to access the experience before booking. To test, please visit hubs.mozilla.com and this reticulum.io link. In the reticulum.io link, you should be able to view a video, but there is no sound. 

The registrant is also responsible for verifying with their organization’s IT representative that their internet connection is sufficient, both in bandwidth and in latency, to support their full group engaging in the session simultaneously. Blocked access or insufficient internet connection do not qualify the registrant for a refund or a reschedule, should they prevent the session from occurring. 

Please note: Adler’s Virtual Field Trips use Mozilla Hubs, a new, still developing, open source platform. Our team will work to adapt and troubleshoot unforeseeable technology challenges if they occur during a session to provide the best experience possible. In case of sound impacts, the Educator will continue the virtual trip via the chat function with continued student participation. Outages are uncommon but possible. If an outage prevents a session from happening, Adler will work with the registrant to reschedule. 

Terms of the Teacher Acknowledgement Form also apply.

Can I schedule an in-person field trip?

For more information about our in-person field trip options, please click here.

What payment types do you accept?

At this time, we accept credit card payments only.

What other resources are available for educators like me?

Visit our educator hub!

Still have questions? Contact us!

Feel free to email us at VFT@adlerplanetarium.org. We will do our best to reply to you within 3 business days. 

Thanks To Our Sponsors

The Adler Planetarium is grateful to the A. Montgomery Ward Foundation for supporting Virtual Field Trips.

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