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Phriendly Physics (grades 1–5)

About the Field Trip (Grades 1–5)

Phriendly Physics is a Next Generation Science Standards focused physical science field trip to the Lederman Science Center for elementary school students.

Electricity & Magnetism: Explore the properties of magnets and electrical circuits to discover how they are part of the same force! Students will design and construct a unique magnet, investigate different types of circuits, and discover what creates natural batteries. Data is recorded throughout each of the explorations.

Forces & Motion: Investigate Newton's 1st (Inertia) and 2nd Laws (acceleration) through a series of explorations while comparing and contrasting data. Students discover the physics of energy and work through simple machines by investigating force, stored energy, lift and consider the applications to their world.

Light & Color: Discover the fascinating properties of light and make connections to the world around them. Students use everyday tools to explore and observe the properties white light, colored light, shadows, refraction and reflection.

Matter and its Interactions: Investigate the properties of materials and substances and explore the unseen! Students will analyze data obtained from testing different materials to learn about the various properties of matter.

To schedule your field trip, contact us at or call us at 630-840-8258.

About the Field Trip Essentials session

To fully prepare your students for a physical science or life science visit, you must participate in either a two-hour training session or a summer Teacher Workshop. These will give you all the information and resources to implement engaging preparatory activities in the classroom that introduce the essential concepts, content, and logistics of the field trip. Your participation will allow your students to learn more about the research and ecology of Fermilab and to better appreciate their on-site experience.

Two-hour Field Trip Essentials sessions:
  • Registration required three weeks prior.
    Location: Lederman Science Center
    Time: 4:15–6:15 p.m., with a 10-minute break
    Fee: Free of charge
    You must have a REAL ID-compliant document, such as an enhanced driver's license or passport, to enter Fermilab. Visit for more information.

About the Teacher Workshop

The workshop helps K–5 teachers understand and feel comfortable with concepts of the physical sciences through facilitated exploration of a series of simple, open-ended experiments, and through discussion and reflection with master elementary school teachers and Fermilab staff. Through this process participants gain a deeper understanding both of the physics concepts and of new approaches in teaching and learning using the scientific method and scientific journaling. Participants also receive equipment and supplies so they can continue to explore these concepts with their students.

Phriendly Physics focuses on the classroom. Participants not only learn concepts, but also start to think like scientists. All of the activities from the workshop can be done in the classroom, many with inexpensive and/or household materials. The most important thing participants will do is learn how to help students frame and explore their own questions, like real scientists.

More information on our workshops can be found here.
Quotes from Participants

"The instructor modeled ways to encourage flexible thinking among students and ways to deepen and enrich the way I teach science."

"I really enjoyed the discussion on the Next Generation Science Standards and the instructor's focus on implementing them."

Scheduling a field trip:

  • Teachers can bring students to Fermilab for free field trips.
  • Students must be in grades 1-5.
  • Must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance.
  • Field Trips are available Tuesday–Friday starting in November each school year.
  • Group size: Minimum of 10, Maximum of 60
  • Chaperones: One adult chaperone (instructor or responsible adult) for every 10 students. We recommend that groups bring extra chaperones to ensure that the minimum number make the trip. Field Trips are not permitted for groups that arrive without the minimum number of required chaperones.
  • Groups may bring lunches to eat at our outdoor picnic tables if you schedule at appropriate times of the year.
  • Please indicate on the field trip form if you need to make arrangements for bringing your own lunch during the colder months.