Children’s Education

Children’s Education

School Programs

To help fulfill its educational mission, the Arnold Arboretum offers nature programs with a focus on plant science to preschool and elementary children and their teachers. It also conducts an annual horticultural practicum for students from Norfolk County Agricultural High School.

School Programs began at the Arboretum in 1984 in response to a request to local museums from Boston Public Schools for help with science instruction. This need continues today as science education remains important to the overall-education of elementary school students.

Through its unique relationship with the City of Boston, the Arboretum has been increasingly committed to improving local science education. The programs emphasize depth over breadth, and consequently field study programs are offered to approximately 1,500 students annually. In a small group setting that emphasizes inquiry and hands-on learning, students receive increased attention with a well-trained volunteer as their guide through the landscape.

For more information, call 617.384.5239 or send a query by email.


Field Study Experiences

Each fall and spring, preschool through elementary classes visit the Arboretum to learn about  plants, animals, habitats, and ecosystems. We offer programs tailored to meet life science standards in Boston Public Schools.

Head Start Initiative

Training, programs, and bus transportation have been provided to nearby Boston Head Start centers to introduce the Arboretum as a local resource for learning about the natural world for children from low-income families, their parents, and their teachers.

School Partnerships

In cooperation with Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum has focused resources on improving science education at neighboring Boston Teachers Union School.  The Arboretum also offers a field study for pre-service teachers at Boston University to explore ways to use the outdoors as a classroom for science investigations.