Northern Lights Extended Field Trip

Bring your students’ Northern Lights history curriculum to life with a fully funded, customizable field trip where you can visit up to four MNHS historic sites. Field trips may be completed in two days with an overnight, or on one extended day.


  • School must be in Minnesota.
  • Students attending the field trip are in sixth grade and use the Northern Lights curriculum.
  • Field trip is taken to at least 3 MNHS historic sites or museums on a singular trip between September 15, 2019 - April 30, 2020.
  • All participating social studies teachers must engage in an online professional development experience consisting of several reflective tasks and a participatory webinar (approximately 5 hours).

If your class is not eligible, please visit our scholarships, grants, and subsidies page to see other financial assistance available.

How It Works:

  • Funds are limited and will be awarded based on the merits of the submitted application.
  • Overnight trips may include up to 50 students and there must be a chaperone ratio of 1:10 (including teachers). Student attendance limitations may not apply to single-day trips.
  • Schools may apply annually; schools who have not participated in the past will receive priority placement in the selection process.
  • Funding covers costs associated with the field trip including bus transportation, site admission, and hotel (if applicable).
  • Selection criteria may include economic factors. Schools with ability to pay a portion of the field trip expenses are encouraged to do so.

To Apply:

Applications for the 2019-20 school year are now under review. The application will reopen in spring of 2020 for schools looking to take their trip in the 2020-21 school year.

Contact with questions. Please note that this is a pilot year for this program and subject to change.

Northern Lights Extended Field Trip Examples:

A two-day field trip could include visits to four historic sites in any order based on the school’s location. There are a number of different field loop possibilities, depending on which thematic links support your curricular goals. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Northern Loop

  • Snake River Fur Post (Pine City) shares the wide history of Native Americans, French voyageurs, and British fur traders in the early 19th century on the Ginebig-ziibi (Snake River).
  • Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post (Onamia): explores the culture and history of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
  • Forest History Center (Grand Rapids) immerses students in a 1900s logging camp where they learn about Minnesota’s forests of yesterday and today.
  • Split Rock Lighthouse (Two Harbors): covers the significance of Lake Superior shipping and the shipwrecks that prompted the lighthouse to be built on the rocky coast.

Early Government Loop

  • Historic Fort Snelling (St. Paul) presents stories of the military fort and its surrounding area, home to a wide history that includes Native peoples, trade, soldiers and veterans, enslaved people, and immigrants.
  • Sibley Historic Site (Mendota) preserves some of the oldest structures in Minnesota, including the home of the state’s first governor, Henry Sibley.
  • Alexander Ramsey House (St. Paul) immerses students in the Victorian era home of Alexander Ramsey, the state's second governor, who also served as mayor of St. Paul, US senator, and a secretary of war.
  • Minnesota State Capitol (St. Paul) learn about government process while taking in its incredible art, architecture, and history.

Industry Loop

  • Mill City Museum (Minneapolis) highlights stories of Minneapolis’ flour milling past in the ruins of the once the largest flour mill in the world.
  • James J. Hill House (St. Paul) shares upstairs and downstairs life in the home built for the Great Northern Railway titan.
  • Oliver Kelley Farm (Elk River) explores the importance of farming, food, and agriculture in Minnesota from the 1860s to today.