Expand your students’ understanding of weather science with a visit to the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center. Or you can arrange to have an Outreach program at your school!
Traditional classrooms, Homeschool groups or Cyberschool groups, explore our school visit packages to select the offering that best suits your group. We even have options for a visit with Punxsutawney Phil as part of your field trip! For an hassle-free way to allow children to have a memento of their visit, read about our School Visit Gift Shop Program in the tab below.
Attention: We are currently accommodating school visits on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays. However, if you have a group of more than 50, Tuesdays and Wednesdays may be available as well, depending on the date.
CYBER & HOMESCHOOL SPECIFICS:Please try to select a date we are currently open as it is difficult to accommodate your requests on closed days due to staffing and volunteer issues. Please note if you select a package that includes an “Activity” or “Visit with Phil,” we require a minimum number of 15 students pre-registered to attend (staff, chaperones and family members do not count in the minimum). If this attendance requirement is not met one week prior to your visit date, the tour will unfortunately be cancelled. Please know that our basic tour/video packages do not require a minimum number of students to host a visit.
School Visit Gift Shop Program
To make having a souvenir of their visit to the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center (PWDC) possible for every student who attends, and to make it easy for the teachers and attendants on the day of the visit, we suggest the following program:
- Children can pre-order souvenir items by using this form.These items can be ordered ahead of time by sending the form home to parents. The money can be collected and the orders faxed to the Weather Center prior to the visit. (During school visit season, our supplies of the listed items can change. Please contact us prior to sending the form home to be sure the items are still available.)
- If the classroom chooses to participate in the ordering program, each child, regardless of whether they pre-ordered any items, will receive at no charge, a gift bag from PWDC containing two (2) souvenir items.
- PWDC will package any ordered items together in the bag with the free souvenir items and label each bag with the child’s name. The bags will be boxed for easy travel on the buses. The teacher can pay for the items the day of the trip.
- Please note: We require receiving the order summary a minimum of three days prior to your visit to allow us enough time to package and label the bags.
- This program accomplishes three things: it allows children to have a memento of their visit, which is a big part of any field trip, it saves time and eliminates the chaos of having the children shop in the gift shop, and it helps the operating fund of PWDC so we’ll be here to help educate and entertain future students.
When field trips aren’t possible, the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center will come to you! Our one-hour program features centers which groups of students will rotate through. Each center features an interactive exhibit and an activity or experiment that complements the exhibit. The centers can be adapted for grade levels K-6 and are designed with state standards in mind. Some examples of our traveling exhibits include a Van De Graaff generator, tornado simulator, wild weather quiz, hurricane disc, cloud in a bottle, heat map and temp-sensitive pads.
Cost for the program presentation is $350. (A mileage fee for travel expenses to and from your location is additional.)
PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS (Ages 3-5). Currently we offer two unique options that meet several of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards and are appropriate for early childhood education facilities, private schools, and child care centers.
- The Seasons – A one-hour outreach program about weather and climate that focuses on the four seasons by incorporating music, movement, interactive activities, and a weather craft or art project. Students will make a thunderstorm using rain sticks and thunder drums, dress for the seasons and more!
- Weather Safety – A one-hour outreach program that explores the safe and unsafe practices and emergency responses to weather hazards such as sun/UV rays, heat, thunder and lightning, floods, wind, and tornados. Interactive exhibits and fun demonstrations will be utilized throughout the program.
- *Please contact us for our Preschool programming pricing.
Outreach programs are available in January, February, March, April, October, November, and December only.
Aristotle Fund Grant Program
Your school may qualify for an admission subsidy. Check to see if you qualify.
Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center (PWDC) established the Aristotle Fund as a way to offer support to school districts and other educational organizations. Through this program, we are able to offer financial assistance for admission fees.
Who it serves
PWDC’s primary market for school group visits is the seven-county region surrounding and including Jefferson where we are located. This includes Armstrong, Clarion, Forest, Elk, Clearfield, and Indiana counties. We are happy to welcome schools from counties outside of our primary market and offer the Aristotle Fund to those schools as well.
Who is eligible
Financial assistance is based on the school’s percentage of students eligible for the state’s free or reduced price school lunch program. The minimum percentage to qualify for assistance is 40%. In addition, Head Start programs, Home Schools, Charter schools, and other educational programs are eligible for a subsidy.
How assistance is awarded
Teachers or group leaders must fill out this application form and submit via e-mail or fax. Submitted applications are evaluated by staff members and the Director of Education & Programming works with each school individually to determine the best match of funding to need and museum experience. Up to 50% of the admission price can be awarded to eligible schools. Head Start programs, Homeschools and Cyberschools can be awarded a subsidy of up to 20% towards admission.
Funding is not awarded to individuals. Funding is provided to groups that register for a guided visit or guided visit with program. Funding is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Aristotle Fund is an ongoing fund. To learn more, please contact our educator at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 814-938-1000.