Bring your class or youth group to explore the mountain by day and by night with the Mount St. Helens Institute’s Volcano Outdoor School. Come face-to-face with geologic forces and discover the amazing stories of plant and animal life in the heart of the Mount St. Helens blast zone.
|“Wonderful! This is an experience the children will remember their ENTIRE lives. Lots of cool activities, beautiful environment, very nice facilities. Such a great time/place!”||“The Volcano Outdoor School educators were phenomenal. They were energetic, patient, kind, and engaging. Thank you!”||“Very hands-on, science based experience with a big dose of outdoor and team-based learning. Tons of fun. Great teachers. Great mix of theory and practice.”|
Volcano Outdoor School Overnight Programs provide a unique, interdisciplinary, fully-immersive experience that supports Next Generation Science Standards.
Throughout the program, students explore the world around them, using scientific tools, recording field observations, working in a team, sharing and discussing ideas, creating art, and reflecting on the environment and themselves.
In our ecology programs, students investigate themes of disturbance, succession and renewal.
In our geology programs, students investigate themes of scale, human connections to geologic processes, and interactions between earth systems.
Whether your class is able to be at Mount St. Helens for 1 hour or for 8 hours, Volcano Outdoor School day programs are a fantastic way to make the most out of a day experience with hands-on, experiential learning! Mount St. Helens Institute education staff will work with you to create a schedule that aligns with your goals and your schedule needs.
Most Volcano Outdoor School programs are based at the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center located in the heart of the 1980 eruption blast zone. In this place where the 1980 eruption scraped and scoured the land, students investigate the past and present geology and ecology at work. Field trips may include at other locations such as Ape Cave, Trail of Two Forests, Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Seaquest State Park, and more. These locations are available on a case-by-case basis.
|“A must do for Washington kids. The history, the science, the event are all so relevant.”||“Profound. unimaginably successful. A paradigm shifter for the classroom."||“I heard voices that tend to be quiet in the classroom.”|
1. View our calendar of available dates. Please note that these dates are subject to group size, staff availability, and facility availability.
2. Read our program policies. Note that groups are required to provide chaperone support at a ratio of 1:5 chaperones per students for overnight trips and 1:8 chaperones per students for day trips.
US Forest Service, WA Recreation & Conservation Office No Child Left Inside, WA State Parks, Honorable Frank L and Arlene G Price Foundation, Autzen Foundation, Outdoor Schools WA, Chevron, Goodfellow Bros., Cowlitz Indian Tribe, BNSF Railway Foundation, and HB Fuller.
Join our learning list to receive the latest updates about our education programs, including registration openings, information about virtual and online education, and teacher trainings.
Mount St. Helens Institute operates under a special use permit from the US Forest Service, WA State Parks and is honored to work on the Traditional Cultural Property, ancestral and present day lands of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Mount St. Helens Institute is an equal opportunity provider.