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 with the help of our Wild Wizard.  Teachers have the option of adding a fast paced and fun filled lab show and/or a hands on workshop to enhance their visit to the Edison Ford.  The Wild Wizard’s special combination of entertainment and education 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.  During the lab shows, participants can take part in a number of Edison’s experiments to see first hand how his ideas became inventions that changed the world.  Add a Wizard's Workshop and discover a new perspective on science and history with our hands on projects your students will get to take home.

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

Student Complete Estates Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of the Edison and Ford homes and gardens.  Also includes self-guided tour of the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory and the Edison Ford Museum featuring a solar energy exhibit.

Includes:

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

Approximate Time: 1 hour for the guided tour, museum and lab time at your discretion
Grade Levels:  All Grades
Max:  150 Students at one time

Edison & Ford Young Inventors Tour

Have fun with an experienced education docent while participating in hands-on science activities based on the inventions of Thomas Edison & Henry Ford.  Be a part of an assembly line, play a phonograph and make your own rubber. This tour is a fun in-depth study of inventions and artifacts inside the museum and laboratory.

Includes:

  • Young Inventors Museum Tour led by experienced docent

Approximate Time: 1 hour
Grade Levels:  All Grades
Max:  20 students 

Edison’s Environmental Challenge

Students become environmental rangers as they lead the way off the path into a science adventure. The 23 acre historic botanical gardens hold the answers to Edison’s Environmental Challenge. The only tools you have on your journey are the Edison Environmental Challenge Packet and your brain. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to locate the six science stations and use the clues from the packet to complete Edison’s quote.

Included:

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

Approximate Time:  2 Hours
Grade Levels:  First and up
Max:  100 students
Tour available Tuesday – Thursday

Choose to Add

A Wild Wizard Lab Show 

Approximate Time: 1 Hour
Includes: Wild Wizard Lab Show ONLY – no tour admission
The Wild Wizard excites every student with this hands-on science performance. Based on the inventions of Thomas Edison & Henry Ford, teachers can choose one of the following Edison and His Inventions, Assembling Ford, or Powering the World. The show is based on Sunshine State Standards and comes with curriculum pre-visit materials.

A Wild Wizard Workshop 

Aproximate Time: 1 Hour up to 100 students; 2 hours for over 100 students
Includes: Wild Wizard Workshop ONLY – no tour admission
If you want your students to take something home after their field trip add a Wild Wizard Workshop.  Making projects has never been more fun than with the Wild Wizard!  Don’t be surprised if you get slimed or maybe a little wet at the end.  No student leaves empty handed.  Take home items include slime, Bernoulli balls and more.

Wild Wizard Class 

Approximate Time: 1 Hour
Includes: Wild Wizard Class ONLY – admission/tour additional
Maximum: 30 Students 

Have your students experience a hands-on, dynamic science class with the Estates Wild Wizard.  Magnificent Matter, Simple Machines, Alternative Energy, Movie Making, Space & Rockets and much more.  This classroom instruction program is designed for FCAT preparation based on Sunshine State Standards and proves that science is "fun"damental.

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 the Education Coordinator 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.