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Holt Scholars Program

Distric of Columbia Public Schools 

Welcome to the Holt Scholars Program Page for DC Public Schools!

The Holt Scholars Program was established in 2014 by a generous donation from the Hillside Foundation to focus on educational outreach to DC Public School students, their families, and local teachers. In addition to sponsoring museum visits, the Holt Scholars Program also provides opportunities for teacher professional development and family engagement events including the upcoming DCPS Family night on March 27, 2020.

Currently, the Holt Scholars Program focuses on providing a district-approved, NGSS-aligned Cornerstone Field Trip experience to the National Air and Space Museum for all 6th grade DCPS Earth Science students as part of the Smithsonian’s DC Metro Initiative. Field trips for other grades and subjects are also available on a limited bases. Please visit the Reservation Page for additional information about requesting a field trip. 


Field Trip Overview

A standard 6th Grade Earth Science Cornerstone Field Trip consists of the following components:

Sample Agenda

9:30AM Depart School
10:00AM Arrive National Air and Space Museum
10:15AM IMAX Film (Component #1)
11:15AM Lunch (Component #2)
Small Group Activities (Components #3 & #4)
1:30PM Optional Time/ Free Exploration 
2:00PM Depart National Air and Space Museum
2:30PM Arrival back to school

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to participate in the Holt Scholars Program field trips?

Our primary focus is to provide DCPS 6th grade Earth Science courses with a cornerstone experience opportunity at the National Air and Space Museum. Field trips can also be arranged for:

  • DCPS 7th Grade Life Science (Human Body Systems) & 8th Grade Physical Science Classes (Forces of Flight)
  • DCPS Title 1 Eligible Schools
  • DC Public Charter Schools (preference for Title 1 Eligible, Middle Schools)

All other school groups can reserve tours through Group Reservations including Story Time for our early childhood audiences

Does the Holt Scholars Program provide bus transportation to the National Air and Space Museum? Are there costs associated with bus transportation?

Schools located less than .5 miles from the Metro are encouraged to utilize public transportation. Schools located more than .5 miles from the Metro, or schools which would require more than 45 minutes on public transit may request bus transportation AT NO COST to the school.

Are there pre- and post-visit activities provided based on the field trip experience?

Yes! Pre- and post-visit resources will be available depending on the components of your field trip experience.

What happens after I submit my Field Trip Request Form?

We require the Field Trip Request Form to be submitted 4 weeks prior to your desired field trip date in order to confirm availability of all requested activities. Once submitted the timeline for field trip planning will be as follows:

Time Before Reqested Field Trip Date Action
4+ weeks (minimum) Submit Field Trip Request Form
3 weeks Finalize date of field trip
2 weeks Confirm activities, distribute pre/post-visit materials
1 week Confirm logistical details


How will construction and gallery closures affect school field trips?

The short answer is- not much! With exceptions of the Exploring the Planets Gallery (closed July 2019), and the Albert Einstein Planetarium (closing October 2019), all other relevant resources will be available and accessible. More information on Revitalization & Transformation efforts can be found here.