EHC K-12 Programs

Field Trip Programs

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Due to Covid-19, we have currently suspended all field trips to the Eden Hall Campus. If you are interested in booking a trip for the future, feel free to complete a registration form and we will reach out once trips are clear to resume.

Field Trips

As the world's first academic community built from below the ground up specially for the study of sustainability, Chatham University's Eden Hall Campus is a living laboratory that offers an unparalleled range of opportunities to introduce sustainability related topics into K-12 education in the Pittsburgh area.


Transportation

Transportation services to and from the Eden Hall campus are available for groups with at least a month's notice. The transportation services we offer free of charge are: 24 passenger shuttle available every day Monday-Friday and 40 passenger shuttle available only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

*Please note that if the shuttle driver calls out on the day of a field trip, shuttle services will not be provided for your group. Groups are welcome to explore outside options for transportation to and from the Eden Hall campus.


Seasonal Activities

Each season we offer different activities, focusing on ecology, sustainable agriculture, the built environment, social responsibility, and more. Click on the topics below for more information on activity summaries, recommended age ranges, and, if applicable, extra materials fees.

Spring Activities (April to June)

+Soil Testing and Compost

Recommended for Grades K-8
Do you know what makes soil good or bad? Do you know where compost comes from? Check out the ways that we compost our food and plant waste on campus. Learn more about how healthy soils and food waste are connected, and join us in taking a close, scientific look at the soils in our campus' Agroecology Demonstration Garden.

Grade K-3
Let's touch, smell, and observe the soils in our gardens. Learn about how composting can help make soil healthier and keep food out of landfills at the same time. Practice what you learn by helping us add some greens and browns to our composting bins.

Grades 4-8
Check out our various composting systems and learn about what goes into each type of system, what the phases of composting are, and what is or isn't compostable. Help us figure out how far along each system is by applying your knowledge, recording temperature observations, and making a hypothesis.

Grades 9-12
[coming soon]

+Spring Farm and Garden Service

Recommended for Grades K-12
What does a spring day working on the farm look like? Learn about different types of farming and gardening and why we chose to create an agroecology garden here at Eden Hall Campus. Get your hands in the dirt as you help our farmers with some of their work for the day. You might be mulching, weeding, harvesting, planting seeds or any number of things with us. Activities vary by season and are appropriate for all ages.

+Storm water and Green Infrastructure

Recommended for Grades K-12
How can the design of our cities help or harm the health of our watersheds? Explore permeable surfaces, rain gardens and other rainwater capture and control methods throughout the Eden Hall Campus.

Grades K-3
Let's learn about watersheds. What are they, what makes them healthy and what makes them polluted. See where pollution water pollution comes from and trace its path through our miniature watershed model.

Grades 4-8
Test multiple ground surfaces, use topographical maps and green infrastructure simulators to look at how landscapes can be designed to prevent stormwater overflow, and identify different water capture design features on campus.

Grades 9-12
Green infrastructure addresses excess stormwater through the processes of infiltration, evapotranspiration or stormwater reuse. It uses soils and vegetation rather than traditional conveyance and storage structures. Examine and compare green and grey infrastructure approaches to stormwater capture.

+Wastewater Filtration Systems

Recommended for Grades K-12
What is combined sewer overflow (CSO) and why is it such a problem for Pittsburgh? It's easy to forget about or take sewer systems for granted, but what would life be like without these systems? Tour Eden Hall's onsite constructed wetland wastewater treatment system, which helps address both human and environmental health issues.

Grades K-3
Learn about the importance of water as a resource and how we clean water at Eden Hall. Experiment with ways to clean water using natural and manmade filters.

Grades 4-8
Explore filtration methods in a hands-on mock-up of our constructed wetland system to see the impact of each step on water quality.

Grades 9-12
Use a variety of materials to design your own wastewater treatment system as a group. How clean can you get your water?

Fall Activities (September to November)

+Biodiversity Survey

TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE, please ask for availability.

Recommended for Grades 4-12
Why does the world have so many different kinds of plants? And animals? Learn about how important all of that biodiversity really is and how humans impact biodiversity around the world. Join us in the Eden Hall woodlands to measure and survey biodiversity just like ecologists do.

Grades K-3
[coming soon]

Grades 4-12
Use ecological research methods to measure baseline or ongoing species diversity at the Eden Hall Campus. Student collected data contributes to Eden Hall's citizen science database.

+Fall Farm and Garden Service

Recommended for Grades K-12
What does an autumn day working on the farm look like? Learn about different types of farming and gardening and why we chose to create an agroecology garden here at Eden Hall Campus. Get your hands in the dirt as you help our farmers with some of their work for the day. You might be mulching, weeding, harvesting, planting seeds or any number of things with us. Activities vary by season and are appropriate for all ages.

+Integrated Pest Management

Recommended for Grades K-12
What do we consider pests and why? Become an agronomist as you explore crops around Eden Hall for signs of pests. Featuring reflections on the writing of Rachel Carson. Data collected contributes to Eden Hall's citizen science database.

Grades K-3
Explore the gardens at Eden hall to search for helpful insects and pests. Learn about ways we can deter pests and help plants defend themselves.

Grades 4-8
Collect and photograph samples of insects and evidence of the damage they are causing around Eden Hall. Look at specimens under a microscope. Come up with sustainable solutions for our everyday problems.

Grades 9-12
Using scientifically robust methodologies, collect data, sketches, photographs, samples and other observations to identify a pest problem at Eden Hall. Use principles of agroecology to identify solutions.

+Solar Thermal Design Challenge

Recommended for Grades 4-12
What is the difference between a photovoltaic and solar thermal system? Tour the systems installed at Eden Hall while learning to identify each type.

Grades K-3
[coming soon]

Grades 4-8
Apply what you learn by prototyping your own solar thermal system. How much can you raise the temperature of the water in your system?

Grades 9-12
Design your own solar thermal system. After practicing your engineering skills, identify how these systems can be used to make local and global communities more sustainable.

+Macroinvertebrates

Recommended for Grades K-12
How can studying a small stream tell us things about a distant river? Macroinvertebrate organism surveys and water chemical testing are both important water health markers that are measured by scientists around the world. Learn what clues they look for. Student collected data contributes to Eden Hall's citizen science database.

Grades K-3
Search for macroinvertebrates in one of our on-campus streams and study how the weather, environment, and humans affect them.

Grades 4-8
Conduct a macroinvertebrate study in one or both of the two creeks on campus. Determine whether or not the stream is healthy using a Pollution Tolerance Index.

Grades 9-12
Conduct a macroinvertebrate study in a specific microhabitat in one or both of the two creeks on campus. Compare and contrast the different microhabitats and the health of each one.

Summer Activities (July to August)

+Geocaching

Recommended for Grades 4-8
Improve your navigation and problem-solving skills while you join us on the biggest treasure hunt in the world.

Grades K-3
[coming soon]

Grades 4-8
X marks the spot. Find caches hidden around Eden Hall and sign each of their logbooks to add your name to the history books of treasure hunters before you. We will use both GPS technology and maps to navigate.

Grades 9-12
[coming soon]

+Solar Thermal Design Challenge

Recommended for Grades 4-12
What is the difference between a photovoltaic and solar thermal system? Tour the systems installed at Eden Hall while learning to identify each type.

Grades K-3
[coming soon]

Grades 4-8
Apply what you learn by prototyping your own solar thermal system. How much can you raise the temperature of the water in your system?

Grades 9-12
Design your own solar thermal system. After practicing your engineering skills, identify how these systems can be used to make local and global communities more sustainable.

+Summer Farm and Garden Service

Recommended for Grades K-12
What does a summer day working on the farm look like? Learn about different types of farming and gardening and why we chose to create an agroecology garden here at Eden Hall Campus. Get your hands in the dirt as you help our farmers with some of their work for the day. You might be mulching, weeding, harvesting, planting seeds or any number of things with us. Activities vary by season and are appropriate for all ages.

+Macroinvertebrates

Recommended for Grades K-12
How can studying a small stream tell us things about a distant river? Macroinvertebrate organism surveys and water chemical testing are both important water health markers that are measured by scientists around the world. Learn what clues they look for. Student collected data contributes to Eden Hall's citizen science database.

Grades K-3
Search for macroinvertebrates in one of our on-campus streams and study how the weather, environment, and humans affect them.

Grades 4-8
Conduct a macroinvertebrate study in one or both of the two creeks on campus. Determine whether or not the stream is healthy using a Pollution Tolerance Index.

Grades 9-12
Conduct a macroinvertebrate study in a specific microhabitat in one or both of the two creeks on campus. Compare and contrast the different microhabitats and the health of each one.

Winter Activities (December to March)

+Aquaponics

Recommended for Grades K-12
Tour Eden Hall's aquaculture lab and vertical gardens while exploring the characteristics of a number of aquaponics and aquaculture systems installed at Eden Hall. What are the pros and cons of setting up your own aquaculture or hydroponics system?

Grades K-3
Students will take a quick tour through our lab to learn some of the basic units and functions of an aquaponics system. Students will then have the opportunity to apply what they learned by working as a team to build a personal aquaponics system that they can bring home or to take to the classroom. Using their personal aquaponics system students can observe the lifecycles and the relationship between the plant and fish in the system. This activity has an additional fee of $2.00 per student and does not include fish.

Grades 4-8
Work as a team to build a table-top aquaponics system using a disassembled kit and a completed system diagram.

Grades 9-12
TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE, please ask for availability.
Test samples of water from the aquaculture lab. Record results for Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Ammonia, Nitrates/Nitrites, Alkalinity, and Chlorine and contribute your findings to Eden Hall's citizen science database.

+Geocaching

Recommended for Grades 4-12
Improve your navigation and problem-solving skills while you join us on the biggest treasure hunt in the world.

Grades K-3
[coming soon]

Grades 4-8
X marks the spot. Find caches hidden around Eden Hall and sign each of their logbooks to add your name to the history books of treasure hunters before you. We will use both GPS technology and maps to navigate.

Grades 9-12
Log your discovery and learn how to access geocaches on our campus and in your community. Topography maps will be given to help explore the landscape. You may never know what you'll find!

+Mushrooms

Recommended for Grades 4-12
After a hike through Eden Hall's woodlands, apply knowledge of mushroom life cycle and ecology to mushroom farming. Data collected during this time contributes to Eden Hall's citizen science database. This activity has an additional materials fee of $1.30 per student.

Grades K-3
[coming soon]

Grades 4-8
Experiment with different substrates to cultivate oyster mushrooms to take back to school. When you return to school, send us photographs through our website to keep us updated on your growth progress.

Grades 9-12
Learn about the diversity of saprotrophic fungi and how they play an important role in an ecosystem. Take on a farmer's perspective of harmful and beneficial fungi and analyze mass media coverage regarding mushrooms. Continue Pennsylvania heritage by cultivating your own mushrooms!

+Passive Solar Design Challenge

Recommended for Grades K-12
Before we consider renewable energy, letting in (or keeping out) light and heat through building design is the best way to conserve energy. Explore the concepts of passive solar design while touring Eden Hall's green buildings.

Grades K-3
Let's talk about what the sun does everyday and how sunlight can help us in our day to day. We'll create buildings and see how the sunlight helps make those buildings more liveable.

Grades 4-8
Measure the path of the sun at our latitude and estimate how many hours of sunlight we get in our green buildings at Eden Hall. Then it's your turn to design a passive solar building.

Grades 9-12
Identify existing passive solar strategies used around the world today and in ancient times. Build your own solar passive design and advocate for daylighting and passive heating strategies to be considered in construction projects within schools and communities!

Year-Round Activities

+Campus Tour

Recommended for Grades 4-12
Explore what sustainability means in the world's first academic community built for sustainable living and learning. Let us show you how we manage our food, water, power, and waste systems. Leave with an understanding that sustainability is possible in every community, and that every little bit gets us all closer to a more sustainable planet.

+Nature Art

Recommended for Grades K-12
Is there something in your community that's unfair or unjust? Have you ever felt overwhelmed thinking about how to solve a big, complex problem? Let's work together to break down a complex issue into its root causes and effects. Get your creative juices flowing by making a transient, nature based art piece at Eden Hall Farm to raise awareness about an issue in your community. Appropriate for all ages.

+Food Waste and Food Products

Recommended for Grades K-12
What are the impacts of the food choices we make? What does it mean to eat local or seasonal food? Try something new as you taste test produce growing on the Eden Hall Farm during a tour of the agricultural sites on campus.

Grades K-3
What does the food sold in grocery stores look like? How can we understand what food is safe and what is not safe to eat? Explore the natural variation and differences in how fresh food can look. Let's learn how to judge food by what it can give us and not only what it looks like.

Grades 4-8
Design a food product that can be sold in the Dairy Barn Cafe using some of the flavors you just experienced. Add your product to a book of other community ideas, which could inspire the next food entrepreneur to reach out to you!

Grades 9-12
[coming soon]

+Team-building Challenge Course

Open to grades 4-12 as well as adult groups.
Join us on our woodland challenge course to get your class or team moving and working together. Our low element obstacles are only passable if your team can trust, communicate, and get creative with each other. Spend a few hours here on campus encouraging and supporting each other and see the benefits long after in your classrooms and boardrooms.

Rates vary for adult and child groups as well as by duration. See our challenge course page for more information and to register for adult groups. Field trip groups interested in registering for a challenge course session please fill out the field trip registration form at the top of this page.


Schedule Options

Click on a sample itinerary.

Suggested Grade Levels: K-12. Please contact us if your group is in a different grade level.

Chaperone to Student Ratio: 1 chaperone : 10 students.


Lunch Options & Water

Groups with under 20 participants are welcome to go through the lunch line in our cafeteria for $9.50 per person, which includes an all-you-can-eat meal and beverages. Due to time constraints, we request that larger groups bring bagged lunches or sign up for a family style lunch.

Family-style lunches consist of rotating menus that follow our regular cafeteria meal calendar and are supplemented with our farm-grown produce at Eden Hall when available. Students will sit at tables of ten, share platters of food, and will dispose of their food waste through a facilitated conversation. Please indicate on your registration form whether you are interested in lunch line, family-style lunch, or will be bringing bagged lunches. Please see our scholarship rubric below to see if you qualify for a partial or full lunch scholarship.

We have a few water bottle filling areas around campus but are very limited with water fountains, so please bring reusable bottles for the day. Here is a map of all the water access points on campus. If students forget to bring a bottle, we have extras that can be used during your visit and returned before you depart campus


TEACHERS TESTIMONIALS

I feel better equipped to educate
not just my family, but our school and
our community as well so
they can be more sustainable.

I LOVED the connection of the sustainable practices in real life followed immediately by
hands-on activities that directly
connected them to the learning!

Excellent to see the positive impact
people can have on the planet!

I hope we'll be working together for a long time!

Well paced, well structured, engaging content.

The program is flexible in terms of adjusting the students' interests throughout the day and providing in-depth instruction
to complement existing curricula.

The staff was great with the kids. They were very knowledgeable and obviously
enthusiastic about the subject matter.



Navigation

Here is a map of campus with drop-off and parking locations.

Map of Drop off location

Directions

ADDRESS

Eden Hall Campus
6035 Ridge Road
Richland Township, PA 15044-9746
Please do not confuse our campus with the Eden Hall Upper Elementary school, which is at the corner of Bakerstown and Ridge Road.



Program Fees

We offer high and low season pricing for our field trips. Fall and Winter season trips will be charged according to low season prices. Spring and Summer season trips will be charged according to high season prices. Campus tour prices will stay the same year-round.

High Season (April to August) Prices
  • 2-hour campus tour: $5 per student
  • 4-5 hour hands-on visit: $15 per student
  • All fees are waived for high school groups that are interested in including a 30 min college prep session with Chatham's Admissions Office during your visit
Low Season (September to March) Prices
  • 2-hour campus tour: $5 per student
  • 4-5 hour hands-on visit: $10 per student
  • All fees are waived for high school groups that are interested in including a 30 min college prep session with Chatham's Admissions Office during your visit

Scholarships

We are excited to offer full and partial scholarships available for all of our field trip costs. Our scholarships cover program fees, lunch, and transportation and are offered on a needs-based sliding scale. We award full scholarships to schools who meet thresholds in at least 2 of 4 categories: percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch, percentage of students of color, percentage of english language learning students, and percentage of special education students.

Partial scholarships are also awarded based on how your group meets thresholds within these four categories. Scholarships awarded for transportation needs will be applied as reimbursements. Scholarships awarded for lunch and program fees will be applied directly to the invoice. Please see the rubric below for more information. You may submit your filled out rubric in our field trip registration form.


What to Expect Once You've Registered

Eden Hall's K-12 Field Trip Coordinator will email you with follow-up information upon your registration, including a draft itinerary and invoice. At this time, you can make any adjustments to your registration and discuss details of any related problem-based learning projects, if applicable. For more information on projects with Eden Hall, see our PBL Supports page.

Your final packet includes an itinerary, invoice, chaperone information sheet, tick prevention fact sheet, and a pre-visit lesson plan that we highly suggest using to enhance student learning experience on campus. Signed permission slips and hold harmless forms are also required for all participants. Please note that trip registration forms must be turned in at least 3 weeks in advance to the requested trip dates. Additional forms must be turned in at least 1 week prior to the date of your visit


Cancellation Policy

Program Fees
  • Cancellations made at least 4 weeks prior to the scheduled field trip will not be charged.
  • Cancellations made 2-4 weeks prior to the scheduled field trip will be charged 25% of the estimated cost of the visit.
  • Cancellations made less than 2 weeks prior to the scheduled field trip will be charged 50% of the estimated cost of the visit.
  • Same day cancellations not due to inclement weather will be charged 100% of the estimated cost of the visit.
Lunch Fees
  • Cancellations made more than 3 business days before the scheduled field trip will not be charged for lunch.
  • Cancellations made within 3 business days of the scheduled field trip will be charged 25% of the estimated cost of lunch.
  • Cancellations made the same day of the scheduled trip will be charged 100% of the estimated cost of lunch.