I read something in the news recently that made me think, and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to comment on the topic. The article I read was about field trips (no, not the road trip with your college buddies), I’m talking about when your junior high or high school takes a class trip for history or social studies – THAT kind of field trip.
As I read the article, the person was openly debating if there was any value in taking a trip with your school to see places like Washington, DC. I’m not sure what the debate was about, but you just can’t have an experience like a class field trip unless you TAKE the trip. Some things you just can’t get from a book, and you can’t really FEEL it unless you’re there. Going to visit some historical landmarks or some memorials and monuments is the moment where a trip is REAL.
I grew up on the Maryland side of the beltway, and my family and I spent more than a few weekends walking around DC, visiting the Smithsonian Museums (the Air and Space, Natural History, etc) and you get to see so much! Everything from NASA’s rockets to other space mission items, to early American airplanes, you name it – history is right there in front of you.
I know that most schools these days are dealing with lower budgets and less funding for extracurricular activities, but there are some things that are just worth it. You can’t teach someone how they will feel when they walk inside a huge museum, and see the bones of a huge dinosaur, the connection of that child to all of the history lessons and the pictures in the books just comes alive. On trying to save money for schools, DC is a great location to visit as most of the Smithsonian museums are free!
I’m a father of three, and I think about education a lot these days, and my wife and I are always talking about ways to give our kids the best. I think that given the opportunity, we’ll be taking our children everywhere and trying to teach them all about the world and how life really works.
While these are our own best effort to educate our kids, we recognize that some folks actually do this for a living … so we’ll defer to experts in their respective field(s). I did some searches on Google and I found a few companies that are involved in educational travel. Some good, some bad.
One of them has been doing student travel for over 20 years! I invite you to do your own research and see what you think. In the meantime, take a look at Student Adventure Tours – www.StudentAdventureTours.com, and read about their class field trips to great locations like: Washington, DC (Recommended Location) - Philadelphia – Boston – New York.
One of the coolest field trips I read about goes to Legoland in Central Florida (Near Orlando), where kids (and ok, adults too) can see large-scale lego projects (replicas of big cities) and how lego creates these larger-than-life creations.
I also found an interesting blog that talks about field trips all over the US, check out http://student-field-trip-blog.info/