Not only does Indianapolis have STEM-based universities, but it also has many programs to help prepare middle school and high school students for their future in the STEM field. Through hands-on and engaging workshops, classes and activities, students will be enriched in science, technology, engineering and math from the following trips.

Museums and Zoos

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Credit: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

For any future scientists, biologists and more, take a trip to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. They have a great STEMLab where middle school students can speak with real scientists and ask questions about their everyday work. They will model and extract DNA, learn about required engineering tools an astronaut uses in space and use microscopes to look at organisms. The Children’s Museum has an excellent field trip curriculum helpful for teachers. Through Space Days, Engineering Days, a Sustainability Fair and more, there are exciting STEM options for numerous subjects. Students learn everything from the physical properties of water to how surfaces affect the speed of motion to learning how robots help astronauts complete tasks.

The Indianapolis Zoo offers many neat opportunities for future zoologists or marine biologists, which includes taking a special behind-the-scenes look at the Oceans building while students listen to coral reef ecologist and research scientist Kelly Latijnhouwers. ”Saturday Science Program” is another option for students will investigate zoological situations by using the scientific method. They will also observe, question and explore the zoo. Exhibits in this zoo include White River Gardens, Zoo Babies, Plains, Deserts, Flights of Fancy, Forests, Oceans and the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center.

Indianapolis Zoo

Credit: Indianapolis Zoo

The mission of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is to preserve and share one of the world’s premier collections of motor racing cars with an emphasis on the Indianapolis 500-mile race, better known as the Indy 500. This museum has many different tour options for all ages. The Golf Cart Tour is a two-hour in-depth tour of the IMS Grounds and Facilities along with a discussion. A Behind-the-Scenes Tour includes a tour of key landmarks Pagoda Plaza and Gasoline Alley. The Kiss the Bricks Tour includes a lap around the track with a stop at the Yard of Bricks. This museum gives plenty of time for questions for aspiring automotive electricians.

Universities and Academia

Purdue University in West Lafayette is one of the top mechanical engineering universities in Indiana. This school offers the school of engineering, health and human sciences, pharmacy, science, veterinarian medicine and more. For high school students, a special summer program is offered called Summer College. Students are able to take courses online or on-campus alongside undergraduates for four or eight weeks. This allows students of age 16 and older to earn credits that can be transferred to any school. With over 650 courses to choose from, this is a great opportunity for students to get ahead in school.

Purdue University

Credit: Purdue University

Industry and Tech

Around for over 20 years, Chemistry is a Blast! takes chemistry all around Indiana and into schools. Great for an in-school field trip, a scientist can come to your school to perform an hour presentation tailored for the appropriate age whether that be middle schoolers or high schoolers. Scientists will educate students about the scientific method as they observe and participate. This program is free for Indiana schools as a service to science education. Explosions, eruptions and evaporations will wow your students without question.

Nature/Outdoor Activities

Conner Prairie also has many outdoor activities that will pull students’ interest. At the Animal Encounter, learn about life cycles and behaviors of animals while students speak with a specialist who can answer any and all questions a future zoologist may have. Take a nature walk from April to October through the woods, water, farmland or prairie. Students will discover plants and animals, learn what the land was used for in the past and how it is used now.

Conner Prairie

Credit: Conner Prairie

Visits the green and beautiful Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden in Indianapolis for your next trip. Customized field trips are an option for middle and high school students. Instructors may tell the specialist what they are learning about in class and they can then tailor the tour to said lesson. Some topics may include plant and animal adaptations, medicinal plants, and natural cycles.