Programs at the Science Center
The Howard B. Owens Science Center offers a variety exciting, hands-on science programs for students in Pre-K through high school. The programs support and enrich the county and state curriculum with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students gaze at the night sky during the day in our 170 seat planetarium as they look for things like shapes in the sky and far off galaxies. They observe live animals, the big and the small, including those cold-blooded creatures that are part of our reptile center. Things zap, sizzle and zing in the labs as we explore the fascinating world of physics and chemistry in our labs. A special Advance Placement Lab component is available for teachers that have to complete required labs for testing. A complete listing of the programs, along with grade level and a brief description are available. Be sure to sign up quickly. Spaces fill up fast based due to the high volume of requests and the availability of buses.
Depending on the age group, most programs run from ninty minutes to two hours. Some advanced programs offered to AP classes run between three and four and half hours in length. Pre and post visit activities are provided for each program. There are NO lunch facilitites at the Science Center.
Costs for Programs
All programs are free to Prince George's County Public School students, however schools are required to pay for transportation costs (Principals Memo). Private schools and home school groups must contact the science center for costs per student per program and arrange their own transportation.
Planning a Trip to the Science Center
- Review the Field Trip Tips for commonly asked questions.
- Decide what grade level of program you would like to attend.
- Read the description of all of the programs available for that grade level.
- Submit a request for the program you would like to attend by registering online as soon as possible (many programs fill up quickly).
- Check for the confirmation of your registration online.
- Collect permission slips in advance of the trip (we suggest at least two weeks).
- Encourage parents to attend as chaperones ( no chaperones are required on regular trips).
- Make provisions for lunch on the day of the trip ( you cannot eat at the Science Center)
- Complete the pre-visit activities before attending the program
- Come on the day of the program!
To attend a program at the Science Center you need to register for the program online. For each class that you wish to bring to the center you need to completer a Program Request form. Fill out out all of the information on the form and submit the request. It may take two weeks or longer depending on the high volume of requests. Each request is time and date stamped as it is submitted. We do our best to meet as many requests as possible. Requests are filled on a first come basis with consideration to availability of buses. We strongly suggest if your class is interested in attending a program, you submit your request as early as possible.
Confirmation of Request
Once you have submitted a request for a program online, it will take time to process the request. The time varies depending on the volume of requests. Most requests can be processed within two weeks. After the the date has been determined and transportation has confirmed a bus, the program will be posted online. Postings are updated weekly, sometimes more frequently if there is a high volume of scheduling. Confirmations are listed alphabetically by school and then by date, also included is the name of the program and grade level. It is the responsibility of the individual submitting the request to visit the confirmation site to check on the status. Please do not call the Science Center immediately after submitting your request if you do not see your school listed, since it may take several weeks to process the request. We encourage you to make your requests for trips early to allow for plenty of time to process your request. We look forward to seeing you and your students at the center.
Pre and Post Visit Activities
Every program has a set of Pre-Visit Activities that the teacher can do with the students prior to arriving at the Science Center. These activities develop prior knowledge and prepare students for the activities of the day. After leaving the Science Center, the teacher can complete the Post Visit Activities. These activities elaborate on and evaluate the skills and content of the program. In order to access the pre and post visit activities you will need to access Howard B. Owens Science Center Curriculum Google site.
- Click on the google site link http://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/curriculum-hbosc/
- It may ask you to login. Use your PGCPS login and password used for gmail.
- Click on the Elementary, Middle or High School
- Click on the Grade level of the Program
- Click on the title of the Program
There is NO lunch facility at the Science Center. Students that are participating in programs that are two hours or less in duration should make arrangements to eat at school prior to attending the program or after they return to school. Trying to eat at the Science Center takes away from the time allotted for the program and we cannot allow students to eat in the laboratory classrooms. Only students that are attending extended day programs, three hours or more in length, may bring a bag lunch or purchase snack items from the vending machine. Special accommodations have been made for these students due to the length of time of the program.
Field Trip Tips A quick list of commonly asked questions and answers. A great starting point when planning a trip to the Science Center.