Living Computers Field Trips - FAQ

We get a lot of questions about our Field Trips. Here are some of our most popular:
 


I want to bring my students to LCM+L. What will our visit cost?
We have three types of programs for school and youth groups interesting in visiting LCM+L. All of them involve some type of interactive or one-on-one teaching component, and range on the amount of time you have to come and explore.
  • Our BASIC Package is a flat fee of $150 per class (up to ~32 students). This includes admission for all students, chaperones (minimum of one adult per 8 students over 10 years old; one adult per 5 students under 9 years), and the choice of either a 45-minute guided tour or 45-minute Lab activity. We find the average visit time for groups which choose a Basic Package is 2-3 hours.
     
  • Our EXTENDED Package is a flat fee of $300 per class (up to ~32 students). This includes admission for all students, chaperones (minimum of one adult per 8 students over 10 years old; one adult per 5 students under 9 years), and a 120-minute facilitated programming activity in the Labs. Average visit time for groups who choose an Extended Package is 3-4 hours.
     
  • We also offer an ADMISSIONS ONLY rate for groups with limited time or varying ages that grants students access to our exhibits for $6 per student.

All programs include guaranteed space reservations for brown-bag lunch. For full program listing, please go to our Field Trips: Programs page.

What do you mean by “minimum number of chaperones”?
LCM+L requires a minimum chaperone ratio of 1 adult per 8 students over 10 years of age, and 1 adult per 5 students under 9 years. This means for a group of 24 students of sixth grade students, LCM+L would waive admission for up to 3 adults (which fulfills the mandatory 1:8 chaperone-student ratio) but all other attending adults will need to pay full admission price (unless they are museum members).

Keep in mind, LCM+L considers “Adult” chaperones individuals over 18 years of age.

What should we bring with us on our field trip?
Due to limited space, we ask students bring only their jackets and lunches into the museum, where we’ll collect them immediately in the lobby. Leave those backpacks at school or on the bus!

Chaperones are free to bring whatever they like. We make our TechShop lockers available free of charge for any chaperone who want to stash their belongings during their visit. See the Front Desk upon your arrival for an access code. What can my student group and I expect upon our arrival at LCM+L?

Ah! Good question. For full details on everything from what to leave at school to our museum rules, we recommend downloading our Preparing For Your Visit and Chaperone Worksheet guides. 

What does LCM+L expect from our chaperones?
We trust that chaperones attending a school field trip be attentive, engaged, and excited facilitators. Come prepared with a watch and a charged cell phone. You don’t need to know anything about computers—just know the names of your assigned kids, keep track of the day’s schedule, and help police student behavior.

And when things get out of hand—if you get a question you can’t answer or there’s a bigger emergency—find one of the museum staff to help you. We don’t expect chaperones to know everything. Let’s work together to make this a positive experience for our students.

For more information, also check out our Chaperone Worksheet for more practical tips on how to be an excellent chaperone.

Anything we should do in class to prepare for our visit?
What a great question! One of the best ways to get your students prepared for their visit to LCM+L is to try Hour of Code at your school. Hour of Code uses a Blockly-based, visual programming interface freely accessible online through any Internet web browser. It’s a great introduction to several computer science concepts and practices that you will see during your time at the museum.

Do you provide any Title I discounts?
Yes. One of the founding pillars of LCM+L is to provide access to quality computer science education for all students. That is why we discount any Title I school programs 50% across the board. Well, my school does not have Title I status. What if we can’t afford a field trip either?

If you suspect that your school or community group cannot afford to visit LCM+L, do not wait and write us directly at fieldtrips@livingcomputers.org.

Do you have bus scholarships?
Not yet, but here’s how you can help: if bus scholarships would greatly increase your chance at a field trip at LCM+L, write us at fieldtrips@livingcomputers.org and let us know (remember to include your school name). The more we hear from our community, the faster we can make change happen!

Is there an indoor place for my class to eat lunch?
Yes. The recent build-out of our first floor exhibit space allowed us to add a shared café space for our visitors with seating for ~24 students. There are NO lunch options for purchase, but visitors are welcome to buy coffee and snacks from our TechShop. Space for brown-bag lunch in this shared café is included free with a field trip reservation, one of the great perks of calling ahead! What if I want to take my group to eat lunch off-site? Can we return to the museum?

Each student and chaperone receives a colored bracelet upon entry to LCM+L. As long as you wear those bracelets, you can go in and out of the museum as you please until closing (5:00 pm).

Do you have parking?
LCM+L has free parking for up to 32 spots on the north side of the building, in front of the main entrance, including two handicap accessible parking spaces.

Where can school buses drop off and pick up?

We have space in our parking lot off of 1st Avenue South for one, maybe two school buses. Please alert us ahead of time while making your reservation that you will need the space. While students are inside, bus drivers are welcome to come in and tour the museum free of charge.

If you are anticipating more than two buses, please see our Parking Multiple Buses instructions for logistics and a detailed map.

Do you offer museum tours?
We do! LCM+L has a talented team of tour guides that are available to bring visitors through a tour of our vintage computer collection. We have the largest collection of restored and fully-operational computers in the world—which means tours at LCM+L are interactive, engaging and one-of-a-kind. For a full list of tours customized for field trip students, please see our Field Trips: Programs page. 

What if I want a guided activity for my students’ visit, but not a tour?
Sure! Our BASIC Package for field trips gives you an option. Just go to our Field Trips: Programs page to select the 45-minute activity of your choice.

Do you have any self-guided gallery activities? Can we bring our own self-guided activity?
Yes! Just ask our Front Desk staff when you arrive. Most materials are developed with a specific age range in mind.
You are also more than welcome to bring your own self-guided activity—or let us know what you’re interested in learning about. Our program offerings are constantly evolving, and our team of tour guides are a diverse and knowledgeable crew.

Can I just bring my class without a reservation?
Yes, though it’s highly discouraged. If you arrive without a reservation, we cannot guarantee your group some of the wonderful perks of simply calling ahead, such as:
  • Your reduced student admission rate—all student groups who arrive unannounced will be charged full price upon admission to the museum

  • Free parking in our parking lot for school vans and/or buses

  • Guided tours and other facilitated activities

  • Space to eat a brown-bag lunch

So please, call ahead for your group at 206-342-2020 or submit a field trip reservation form here.  

Do you have any programs suitable for my preschool group?
Yes we do! And here’s why:
Preschool students learn differently than their older counterparts. While young visitors often have fun with their older siblings, there are few opportunities that engage this age group exclusively in activities that foster computational thinking. This is why LCM+L has taken a unique and dedicated stance on providing our youngest visitors opportunities to learn computational thinking in play-based, age-appropriate ways.

For any group having 6 or more preschool children, we highly encourage making a reservation here to get a special and tailored museum experience. We’ll take a look at your student numbers, age, and figure out a plan that works best for your group.

I am a wheelchair-bound visitor. Which exhibits can you recommend for me at LCM+L?
All of them! As a “please touch” museum, LCM+L is well suited for disabled visitors of all types. Our keyboards are meant for fingers, our teletypes make noise, and many of our exhibits and installations require guests to actually pull up a chair to use!

LCM+L has an elevator to our second floor vintage collection and a lift to our mezzanine exhibits (Gamemakers Space and Internet of Things Workshop). We also have a ramp leading up to our main entrance, 2 handicap accessible parking spaces, and a large changing room available if needed.

What if my student group has broad range of ages (ie: homeschool, after-school programs, small private schools, etc.) or just limited time?
For groups with multiple ages and/or time restrictions, LCM+L does provide an Admission Only rate of $6 student with free admission for the minimum number of adult chaperones. This rate does not include a guided tour or any pre-scheduled facilitated activities for your group. However, groups who request this rate still get access to our parking lot and shared café space for lunch.

What if we want to bring a group during the summer?
Absolutely—we’re a popular place. If you are interested in bringing a summer camp to visit LCM+L during July and August, please write us at fieldtrips@livingcomputers.org to book your reservation. We start taking reservations for summer camp visits as early as April.

Do you have summer camps?
LCM+L will be considering summer camps in 2018.

I was a field trip chaperone and had a great time! How do I become part of the LCM+L community?
Gosh, we love to hear that. One of the best ways to support LCM+L and learn more about the amazing workshops, events, and programs we offer here is to get a membership. We have both individual and family memberships available for under $60 a year. Learn more at Tickets & Membership

Teachers, did you know we have a special teacher membership? LCM+L has a special and rapidly growing club of computer science teachers and advocates who we support through exclusive workshops, seasonal e-newsletters, and educator-only evening events called Teachers’ Lounge.

I LOVED our field trip to LCM+L! How do I share my experience? 
Well we’re glad to hear it! There’s a couple things you can do:
  • Post and follow us on social media @LivingComputers on Twitter and Instagram or Facebook.

  • Write a review on Trip Advisor, Google, Yelp or Facebook—just search for Living Computers!

  • Lobby your school to consider a field trip to LCM+L for their students. Many times, schools only get one field trip a year—help make it LCM+L by sharing your experience with school leaders, teachers, and local PTA.