Hands On Plant Science (HOPS)

In HOPS, you get to know how beautiful plants are.
— 2018 HOPS Student

The U.S. Botanic Garden has hosted hundreds of urban children and teachers in the National Garden for Hands On Plant Science (HOPS). Participants immerse themselves in the natural world: they dangle over the bridge, and learn that clean water is critical for plants and all life forms; they explore the power of the sun and learn how plants make their own food; they watch pollinators in action and have the opportunity to wander and wonder. The National Garden becomes an outdoor classroom where students and teachers use microscopes, dissect flowers, analyze soil, and learn how seeds travel.


Each year, we hire four teachers and eight students (must be at least a rising high school junior) to help facilitate our two-week HOPS program.

Teachers and students will lead a Hands-On Plant Science experience for D.C. youth between the ages of seven and twelve. This two-week program takes place outside in the National Garden. Program staff will gain plant science teaching skills and knowledge, with a special emphasis on hands-on learning.

HOW TO APPLY: Please submit an application no later than April 1st, 2019.

For an application and more information click here. Questions and completed applications may be directed to Lee Coykendall (Children's Education Specialist, United States Botanic Gardens) at lcoykend@aoc.gov

Learning about the sugar content in our drinks and in our plants! #botanistintraining #hopsbops #friendsofusbg #education
I enjoyed coming to this garden every day and interacting with the staff because they felt like a family.
— 2016 HOPS Student

To learn more about how The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company supports HOPS, click here