Visitor Center

Open Weekdays (8am - 5pm) and Saturdays (10am - 4pm)
(Closed Sundays and holidays)
8120 Veta Drive • Cheyenne, WY 82009

Field Trip Request Form

Special Tour Request Form

Visitor Feedback Form

Viewing the exhibits in the Visitor Center of the NWSC is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. Enjoy a free, self-guided tour that offers an informative view of weather, climate, supercomputing and the broad spectrum of atmospheric research at a world-class science laboratory. Learn about current Earth science research spanning our planet's changing climate to the genesis of severe weather phenomena. Find out about computational science and see one of the fastest supercomputers in existence today.

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Field Trips for School Groups

Field trips to the NWSC Facility are available to school, camp, club, and home school groups Monday through Friday throughout the year. The typical field trip includes a self-guided tour of the interactive exhibits in the Visitor Center. Each exhibit incorporates hands-on science activities designed to meaningfully engage students in science learning. Groups may spend as much or as little time in the Visitor Center as desired. For groups with students 5 to 12 years old, we suggest a minimum two-hour visit so that they have adequate time for exploration of the NCAR exhibits. Children under the age of 14 should be supervised by an adult at all times while at the NWSC.

We recommend that teachers and/or school group leaders visit the facility in advance of their scheduled group visit, to become familiar with the exhibits and to ensure a successful self-guided tour.

To schedule your field trip, please use the Field Trip Request Form. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • A selection of three preferred field trip dates and times
  • Ages/Grade and number of students, and a roster of student names (for use as an emergency roll)
  • Number of teachers and chaperones participating, including names and organization represented.
  • Method of transportation to the NWSC
  • Any individuals with disabilities or needing special accommodations 
  • Your phone number and email
  • School or organization phone & mailing address
  • Field trip lunch plans (seating is limited to the outdoor courtyard, weather permitting, and maximum capacity is 60)

Cancellations

To cancel a confirmed field trip, please contact the scheduler at least two weeks in advance of your confirmed date.

Chaperone Resources

  • Chaperone Guidelines
    • Stay with your assigned students at all times. Make sure that they know this expectation as well.
    • Instruct all your students to go immediately to the NWSC Security Desk if lost or separated from the group. The Security staff will ensure that the student is escorted back to his/her group promptly.
    • Students in middle school or younger are to be escorted to the restrooms.
    • Please turn off or mute your cell phone during the field trip as a courtesy to the NWSC staff.
    • Please help students use the NWSC’s recycling, composting, and trash bins.
    • Please model respectful behavior
  • Student Guidelines
    • Enter the building quietly and wait while your teacher or event leader signs in with the Security staff.
    • Because the NWSC is a place of business, please use inside voices at all times both in and outside the facility.
    • Always walk while inside the facility
    • Stay with your chaperone and group throughout the visit.  If separated from your group, please go immediately to the NWSC Security Desk.
    • No climbing on the exhibits or benches.

Non-school Groups Special Tours

Non-school group special tours of the facility are available on a limited basis, by arrangement only. Space fills up quickly, so we suggest you submit a written request as far in advance as possible (one month or more) by completing the Special Tour Request Form.  The maximum group size that can be accommodated at any one time is 40 individuals; however, this figure is also dependent on staff availability on the date and time under consideration.  For groups with members under the age of 14, certain restrictions will apply and the scope of the tours may be limited.  Tours can last from 45 - 90 minutes and require continuous standing and walking, including several flights of stairs.  Appropriate attire and footwear is required to tour the facility; no open-toe shoes or high heels.

Other Guidelines:

  • The facility is a Smoke-Free environment
  • The facility is under surveillance
  • The NWSC is not responsible for lost or stolen items
  • The NWSC is not responsible for damage to vehicles in the parking lot

Provide Feedback about your visit to the NWSC

Your comments are important to us. We would like to know about your visit to the NWSC and would appreciate feedback about your experience. You may text your comments to 321.684.NWSC (6972). You may also pick up a form at the Security desk at the NWSC during your visit, or use the Online Visitor Feedback Form.  Thank you for your input. 

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Inside the NWSC

Supercomputers are like brains, capable of doing many different things at once. Your brain does the equivalent of millions of calculations even for very simple tasks, like taking a drink of water. Your brain processes information and tells your body what to do: it sees where the cup is, tells your hand how far to reach, how tightly to grasp it and how to move it to your mouth. You might not even aware that your brain is doing all that work – unless you think about it!