Student Field Trips

Plan your next field trip to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and give your students the chance to see how ideas can change the world and to understand what Edison meant by “All progress, all success springs from thinking.”

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates offers a unique combination of history, science, and literature that can be found nowhere else.  This National Register Historic Site is one of the top ten most visited historic home sites in the nation and is an interdisciplinary step back in time to the emergence of industrial and technological America as we know it today. 

At the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, we include educational information in our programs and tours that you can integrate back into your classroom.  There are also materials provided to teachers and group leaders to prepare students with pre-visit study guides, a reading list and even a new orientation video which provides highlights of the field trip.  This ensures that everyone involved gets the most out of their experience by allowing the learning to take place long before and after your visit to the Edison Ford.

Whether you explore our 20 acres along the Caloosahatchee River and 15,000 square foot museum full of movies, artifacts and inventions on your own or with one of our experienced tour guides, you will see why Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are two of the most influential figures in American history.  Students will marvel at the historical objects and inventions that include antique automobiles, light bulbs, electric generators, phonographs and early motion picture projectors.  Much of today’s children have grown up with and love such technologies as iPods, movies and video games which all started with the inventions and interests of Edison, Ford and their friends.

Students will learn how Edison changed Fort Myers from a town with 350 residents, no roads, no electricity, and no railroads into what it is today.  They will see the largest Banyan Tree in the Continental United States and visit the 1920s as they walk through the nation’s only historic Botanic Research Laboratory where Edison, Ford and Firestone planted and researched more than 14,000 plants to find a source of natural rubber.  The site itself is full of inventions and thoughtful utilization of natural resources with artesian wells, water cisterns and fire systems that showed how the two inventors and their families used what was available to create their winter homes in southwest Florida more than a century ago.

Take learning to a new level by adding a hands on engineering workshop to enhance their visit to the Edison Ford.  The special combination of entertainment and education during the STEM Tours and Engineering Workshop will engage and enlighten your students to the importance of reading, hard work and persistence as demonstrated to us by the achievements of both Edison and Ford.  Add an Engineering Workshop where students work in teams, problem solve, think creatively and critically and discover a new perspective on science and history with our hands on challenges.

A visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is more than just looking at inventions and historic buildings. It is learning firsthand how the ingenuity, creativity and hard work of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford changed American business, industry and the world.

Choose From These Student Field Trip Options

Edison Ford Historian Tour

Enjoy an education docent guided tour of the Edison and Ford homes, gardens, laboratory and museum featuring the solar energy exhibit.  

Includes:

  • Guided Tour of Edison & Ford homes and gardens
  • Admission into Edison Ford Museum and Laboratory

Time:  Two hours
Grade Levels:  All Grades
Maximum:  90 Students at one time  Minimum:  20 students

Edison Ford Inventors STEM Tour

Have fun with an experienced education docent with four hands-on STEM activities based on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  Be a part of an assembly line, phonograph demonstration, learn about the light bulb and make your own polymer.  This tour is a study of inventions and artifacts inside the museum and laboratory.

Includes:

  • Edison Ford STEM Tour  
  • Self-guided tour of historic homes, gardens and laboratory

Time:  Two hours
Grade Levels:  K - 5
Maximum:  30 students Minimum:  20 students 

Edison Ford River Ecology STEM Tour

Immerse students in the Edison Ford natural environment with the Edison Ford River Ecology STEM Tour.  In this tour, students will learn about the rivers, fish habitats and preservation efforts.  The tour also includes demonstrations and activities that will be sure to inspire students to appreciate nature.  Students will be able to see movement of water, fish habitats, food chains and fish anatomy.

Includes:

  • Edison Ford River Ecology STEM Tour
  • Self-Guided Tour of historic Edison & Ford homes, garden, and laboratory
  • Admission into Edison Ford Museum

Time:  2 Hours
Grade Levels:  K - 5
Maximum:  30 students  Minimum:  20 students

Student Special Field Trip Packages

Add a Boat Cruise to any of the Three Edison Ford Tour Options

Students will enjoy a narrated tour with naturalists and historians on the Caloosahatchee.  The boat departs promptly at 10:30a.m.  The boat is limited to 49 passengers at one time.

Cost:  $15 per student; $15 per adult
(Boat Cruise cost is in addition to Edison Ford tour cost; One adult FREE for every 10 paid students)
Tour Time:  One hour

Discounts Available when Adding a STEM Tour of your Choice with the Edison Ford Historian Tour

Choose one of the two STEM Tour options to a Historian Tour and receive $4 OFF per student.

Cost:  $13 per student
Time:  Two hours

Add-On Engineering Workshop

Engineering Workshop

Engineering Workshops are an opportunity for students to create something to take home or participate in an engineering challenge.  The take home workshop is a polymer making activity to learn more about Edison's quest for natural rubber.  The engineering challenge offers students the opportunity to work in teams, problem solve, and think creatively and critically to be able to achieve the goal.  Options for the Engineering Workshop include towers, bridges, ziplines or circuits.  Teachers can also choose a life science themed workshop that includes students building terrariums or creating botanical prints.      

Cost:  $100
Create and Build Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Maximum:  30 students at one time  Minimum:  20 students

These tours and prices are available only to student groups throughout the school year lead by certified educators or student tour operators for the purpose of enhancing classroom instruction through hands-on science, history and art experiences at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.  Call the Edison Ford at 239-334-7419 to find out our specials for schools and student tour operators.

Teachers should plan to spend a minimum of 3 hours at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.  Outdoor picnic facilities and a museum store are also available.

How to Get the Most from your Field Trip to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

  • Use the information here on our website to choose the right tour and any added options
  • Call 239-334-7419 to speak with a group reservationist or fill out the Group Tour inquiry Form to plan your Field Trip
  • Check out the special activities and new exhibits Just For Kids
  • Use the pre-visit materials to prepare your students for their visit with our reading list and simple science experiments
  • Include your chaperones in the pre-visit activities so they can support and expand the student’s work
  • Encourage students to bring cameras to create a diary and tell a story

Book your group today!  To reserve Student Field Trips and for additional information call 239-334-7419 or complete the Group Inquiry Form.