Note: grade specific CA State Standard curriculum is currently being updated and will be posted as it is approved by our Teacher Advisory Board.

The IVDM offers field trips for schools, scout packs, troops, camps, birthday parties, etc. throughout the year. Field trips are designed to meet grade level specific curriculum standards through engaging, hands-on experiences in areas like visual arts, social studies, and the sciences.


Field trips are offered Tues-Wed 9:30-1pm, at $5 per student. Requests must be submitted at least 3 weeks in advance. Due to the high demand for these programs, not all requests may be successfully filled. 

 Contact the Museum:   (760) 358-7016

Field Trip Modules

Our field trips are broken down into 3 components based on grade curriculum. Students are put in three groups and rotate through all of the modules. We are open to additional suggestions or requests by teachers to personalize your field trip experience.


1. Hike

Students are led on a short walk on museum grounds. One of our most popular modules, students explore the desert, learning about geology, the desert, and adaptation to the desert by plants, animals, and people.

Grade specific Curriculum:

3rd grade      6th grade


2. Coiled Clay

Students explore the traditional art of making pottery using the paddle and anvil method.  This method has been used by the Kumeyaay and other Native Americans on the southwest for over 1,000 years.

Grade Specific Curriculum:

4th grade     5th grade     6th grade


3. Geology

Students use maps, microscopes, and rock samples to take an in-depth look at the geology that makes the Imperial Valley: volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, fossils, and volcanic rocks.  This section is altered to focus specifically on the sciences being taught in each grade.

Grade Specific Curriculum:

4th grade     5th grade     6th grade 

4. Exhibit Tour     New!

As our new permanent exhibit is installed, we add a tour of the museum to our field trip. Students will learn about life on the shoreline of Lake Cahuilla through our interactive object theater- a diorama where they will watch the lake fill and recede, discover the desert as a toolbox and see how Native Americans adapted to living in the Imperial Valley both with and without the lake's presence. 

Grade Specific Curriculum:

4th grade     5th grade     6th grade



Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a minimum/maximum number of students per visit?

The minimum number of students is 8. If there are fewer students, the group leader must commit to paying for the minimum number of students. 

How much does a field trip cost?

$5 per student. Teachers and chaperones are given free admission as we expect their active participation in supervising students.

How do I pay?

All payments are accepted upon arrival on the date of your tour.  We accept cash and checks. Checks should be made payable to the Imperial Valley Desert Museum.  We can also make arrangements to invoice your school or organization if necessary.

Will we eat lunch there?

The museum provides a picnic area for students to enjoy lunch outside.

Is there a gift shop?

Yes. We stock many items geared towards children-both for interest and in price. We leave it to the teacher to decide whether they wish to tell students beforehand that they can bring money for the gift shop.

Should I provide chaperones?

Yes. We require at least 1 teacher/chaperone per 10 students.  We request that chaperones do not bring along other children or babies in strollers as we expect chaperones to be engaged in the supervision of the group. 

Teacher Previews

Teachers are always welcome to preview the museum and field trip components during our regular hours of operation. We encourage teachers or group leaders to visit the museum beforehand to familiarize themselves with the museum's layout and current exhibit.  They can review the exhibit and any available teacher resources with a staff member to answer any questions regarding field trip preparation for their students.  We are committed to providing exciting and educational field trips and are willing to work with you to personalize your group's tour.  

What is your cancellation policy?

If you must cancel your tour, please do so at least 1 week in advance. No shows and last minute cancellations (24 hours or less) will be invoiced $25.




 Member of the American Alliance of Museums since 2013.

All photographs taken by IVDM staff or used with permission by Joselito Villero and Michael Field. All rights reserved.2014.