Friends of the Domes

Education Center at The Domes

Children's Education Programs

The Domes are a pillar to the education of Milwaukee and the surrounding communities. The FOD Education Program's goal is to provide powerful experiences to our visitors and members with the use of this deeply unique and globally diverse facility. We look forward to welcoming members of our plant-loving community to the Domes and other venues across the greater Milwaukee area for fun-filled field trips and workshops.

Keep posted on upcoming events: here on our website, on our calendar, on social media, or become a member and receive our emails and member discounts on course admissions.

For more information about refunds or about our workshops, contact the Education Director at ericaputman.fod@milwaukeedomes.org

Schools, Scouts, Youth and more!

This page includes information and request forms for groups attending educator-led programming at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory ("The Domes"), as well as information on VIRTUAL SCIENCE programs.

Examples of groups that can attend our programming are: Schools, Scouts, After-school, Youth, Child-care centers, Home school, Daycare, CLCs, Non-Profits, Boys & Girls Club, or any other groups with children/youth ages 5-17.

Friends of the Mitchell Park DomesMilwaukee County Parks

Virtual Science Live!

Virtual Science Live

Virtual Science Live workshops

The Friends of the Domes’ Education Program brings you virtual, interactive science experiences! Mr. Pete (with his seemingly never ending supply of props, songs, stories, and Puppet Pals) explores various science topics that meet Wisconsin Academic Standards for Science and Health, Grades K-6th. For schools, home schooled students, scout groups, camps, or any other group of children!

Virtual Science Live! is our current stand-in for in-person field trips to the Domes. These experiences take place completely virtually, with our interpretive educator leading a 40-60 minute, synchronous lesson, followed by optional asynchronous activities. Our current curriculum offerings are designed to meet state curriculum standards. Our goal is to provide educators a fun and engaging way to deliver a required curriculum. Although designed for teachers, any group of young learners can benefit from this unique programming!

Mr. Pete is our FANTASTIC Lead Interpretive Educator and will lead all Virtual Science Live programs. To learn more about Mr. Pete, visit our Education page.

Cost for virtual experiences:

  • Smaller Groups: from 1 - 15 students: $90
  • Larger Groups from: 16 - 35 students: $130
  • A final head count and payment are due one week prior to the workshop.

Rescheduling and Refunds:

Rescheduling the workshop due to extenuating circumstances is possible. No refunds will be issued for last minute cancellations (cancellations within 5 days of the scheduled workshop) or for drops in attendance (for example, a drop from the "larger group" category to the "smaller group" category within 5 days of the scheduled workshop will not result in a reduced price). Refunds due to technical difficulties will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

An online request form is required for all Virtual Science Live workshops. Click Here for the Request Form

PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE STARTING MONDAY, 9/28/2020.

In this form you will need:

  • A Google login to access the Google Form
  • Group information: Contact information, Student information
  • Programming requests: Experience selection, learning objectives
  • Scheduling Information: Preferred times and dates

1. Pollinators, Unite Available Jan. 4th, 2021

Meet Honey B. as she explains the diversity of pollinators and flowers. Mr. Pete will lead you in the game show, "Who's Your Pollinator?" All this and much more as we explore the importance of pollinators in your backyard and around the world!

Major Standards Met: Science: Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) - Life Science 1 (LS1), Life Science 2 (LS2), Science: Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI)

Standards Extended:

  • Standard SCI.LS1:A.1 All organisms have external parts that they use to perform daily functions.
  • Standard SCI.LS1.B.1 Parents and offspring often engage in behaviors that help the offspring survive.
  • Standard SCI.LS1.C.K Animals obtain food they need from plants or other animals. Plants need water and light.
  • SCI.LS2.A.2 Plants depend on water and light to grow. Plants depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds around
  • Standard SCI.LS1.D.2 There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water.
  • SCI.PS3.D.K Sunlight warms Earth’s surface.

2. The Science of Magic!

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?! DO YOU BELIEVE IN SCIENCE? Mr. Pete explores all the steps of the scientific method through "magic" and fairies. Uncover the secrets of magic tricks based on science, make and test hypotheses, and explore new ways to conduct science experiments at home!

Major Standards Met: Standard SCI.SEP: Science: Science and Engineering Practices

Standards Extended:

  • Standard SCI.CC2: Cause and Effect: Students use science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cause and effect relationships to make sense of phenomena and solve problems
  • Standard SCI.SEP1-SEP7: Students ask questions and define problems, in conjunction with using crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas, to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.Students develop and use models, in conjunction with using crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas, to make sense of phenomena and solve problems. Students plan and conduct investigations, in conjunction with using crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas, to make sense of phenomena and solve problems. Students analyze and interpret data, in conjunction with using crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas, to make sense of phenomena and solve problems. Students construct explanations and design solutions, in conjunction with using crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas, to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.Students engage in argument from evidence, in conjunction with using crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas, to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.

3. From Sun to Sugar

Everything is connected! Discover how energy and matter flow through an ecosystem! Why are plants green? Who eats who? Through fun, humor, and lots of enthusiasm, Mr. Pete and his Puppet Pals will take you on a journey of the energy cycle!

Major Standards Met: Science: Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) — Life Science 1 (LS1), Life Science 2 (LS2)

Standards Extended:

  • Standard SCI.LS1: Students use science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and an understanding of structures and processes (on a scale from molecules to organisms) to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.SCI.LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • Science: Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) — Life Science 2 (LS2) – Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics within Ecosystems Standard. Students use science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and an understanding of interactions, energy, and dynamics within ecosystems to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.
  • SCI.LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems. SCI.LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystem
  • Science: Crosscutting Concepts (CC) — Systems and System Models: Students use science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and an understanding of systems and system models to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.
  • Science: Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) — Physical Science 3 (PS3) – Energy Standard: Students use science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and an understanding of energy to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.

4. So Close Yet So Far: Team-building Workshop

Mr. Pete and his Puppet Pals teach you that your classroom can still be a team, even during virtual learning! Get to know each other through interactive and personal team-building activities that focus on relationship-building and positive communication.

Major Standards Met

Health, Health Science, Family and Consumer Science

Standards Extended:

  • Health: Standard 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication. skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks
  • Health Science/Family and Consumer Science: Standard 6: Students will demonstrate the ability to use goal-setting. skills to enhance health
  • 4C1-4C3: Students will think and work creatively to develop innovative solutions to problems and opportunities. Students will formulate and defend judgements and decisions by employing critical thinking skills. Students will communicate and collaborate with others to accomplish tasks and develop solutions to problems and opportunities
  • CD1: Students will consider, analyze and apply an awareness of self, identify, and culture to identify skills and talents

No questions yet! Ask one at: ericaputman.fod@milwaukeedomes.org

In-person Field Trips

2020-2021 School Year

Due to uncertainty of COVID-19 social distancing requirements, requests for in-person field trips can be made by emailing ericaputman.fod@milwaukeedomes.org, and we can discuss field trip possibilities.

In-person field trips will be unable to take place until requirements have been lifted. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

In-person field trips

Educator-Led Field Trip Information:

Schools, Scouts, Youth, After School, Home school, Camps, and any other group of children attending Educator-led Programming.

Thank you for choosing the Mitchell Park Domes as your field trip destination! Our unique facility allows children to explore the rainforest, desert, and mediterranean - all in one day!

The Friends of the Domes Education Program offers NEW field trips programs for grades K5-12. These programs, available for scheduling throughout the school year and summer, provide every attendee with the opportunities to acquire nature-based knowledge, experiences, hobbies, and values.

Each Field Trip will include:

  • Pre-trip information and optional curriculum
  • A hands-on, interactive, educator-led experience
  • Exploration through all three Domes, and post-trip information with optional curriculum
  • Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for your educator-led field trip
Educator Guided Program (School Groups, Scouts, Youth, Home school, Camp, etc.)
Presenter/Guide Friends of the Domes Lead Interpretive Educator
Reservation/Registration An online registration request is required before a field trip can be scheduled
Minimum Required Notice Requires a minimum of THREE WEEKS PRIOR to your program date
Prepayment Required a minimum of TWO WEEKS PRIOR to your program date
Final Numbers Required a minimum of TWO WEEKS PRIOR to your program date
Days of the Week Monday-Friday, Mornings preferred
Content Available Developed to meet national standards. Choose between a variety of available curriculum
Child Cost (Updated 2020) $7 per child
Minimum and Maximum Numbers Minimum of 15 students (or $105) per field trip, Maximum of 60 students. Larger groups will need to be split to accommodate current staff capacity.
Minimum Fee $105 (15 paid students)
Chaperone/Adult Cost 1 free adult for every 10 students (rounded down), $7 for each additional adult
Cancellation/Administrative Fee $50 cancellation fee applied if the program is cancelled under two weeks prior to your program. $105 cancellation fee applied if the program is cancelled under 5 days prior to your program. Programs that are cancelled by FOD leadership do NOT incur a cancellation fee.
Scholarship Information Financial assistance is available: partial or full scholarships

Additional Information on Fee Structure

Chaperone Numbers and Costs:

Chaperones include any and all adults attending with the group during the time of your field trip, including teachers, assistants, paraprofessionals, aides, school staff, parents, etc.

Groups must have one adult per every 10 students*. (for example, if you have 35 students, you must bring at least 3 adults that will follow the Chaperone Policy). These adults will receive free admission. The fee for each additional adult is $7.

*Groups with all students over the age of 14 may have one adult per every 15 students.

Groups with young students or students with accessibility or special needs are recommended to have additional chaperones, although it is not required.

Scholarship Information

The Dr. & Mrs. John Thomas Scholarship Fund was created through the generosity of the Thomas's with the intention of underwriting field trips for schools in need of financial assistance. Any schools that are interested in visiting the Domes for an educational program, but lack funding, are encouraged to apply to this fund for assistance. The fund generally funds 50% of the cost of a field trip.

If you are interested in applying for a partial or full scholarship, please indicate this on the Field Trip Request Form. We will contact you with more information.

Booking Information

Please email ericaputman.fod@milwaukeedomes.org for information on booking an in-person field trip.

In this form you will need:

  • A Google login to access the Google Form
  • Group information: Contact information, student information
  • Programming requests: Experience selection, learning objectives
  • Scheduling Information: Preferred times and dates
  • Check for understanding: understanding the information provided

Busy Times at the Domes

Field trips are scheduled during times that the Domes are open to the public. Please keep in mind when scheduling your trip that afternoons, especially in winter, are typically busier.

For a full calendar of events, please visit: https://milwaukeedomes.org/events-calendar

*Please note when the Show Dome is closed.

Our programming for the 2020-2021 school year is currently being developed!

The current program categories are listed below. You will choose a category, then we will send options for more specific programming to fit your groups' learning objectives!

  • The Tropical Experience: - Tropical plants, plants that changed the world, animals, biodiversity, and human impact on the rain forest
  • The Desert Experience - Desert plants like cacti & succulents, animals (meet the bearded dragon!), adaptations, and survival
  • The Show Dome Experience - Explore the current Show Dome theme (which changes 5 times a year!), herbs, and Mediterranean plants
  • The Wisconsin Experience - Native plants and their importance, invasive species, Milwaukee water, local pollinators, save the bees!
  • The Team-building Experience - Team-building challenges, using your senses, mindfulness, restorative circles, and group discussions
  • The Arts Experience - Explore the arts, inspired by our diverse and unique plant collection

Lunch: The Mitchell Park Domes is unable to accommodate onsite lunch or a lunch area for groups. We recommend that your field trip is scheduled in a way that allows you to eat lunch at school or elsewhere. On a nice day, there is space to eat outside.

Parking: The Domes offers free parking. Buses may pull to the front roundabout for drop off.

LOCATION AND HOURS:

Address: 524 Layton Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215

The Domes are open 9:00AM to 5:00PM on weekdays and 9:00AM to 4:00PM on weekends and holidays (when the Domes are reopened).

Program Times: Because the Domes are open to the public, it is beneficial to plan your field trip during less busy times at the Domes. The morning is the best time to visit the Domes with a group as well as when the Show Dome is closed. The busiest times at the Domes are during the winter, especially in the afternoon.

Gift Shop and Vending Machines: Please discuss with your students prior to your trip if they will be permitted to visit the gift shop or vending machines. No more than 5 students may enter the gift shop at a time and must be accompanied by an adult.

Mitchell Park Exploration: Is there more to do in Mitchell Park? Absolutely! Mitchell Park includes 61 acres for outdoor activities, walking paths, a pond, and playground. Seems like a great place for some Capture the Flag before you head back to school! Mitchell Park Map

Additional Contact Information: For more information, please contact Erica Putman, Education Director at ericaputman.fod@milwaukeedomes.org