A Field Trip to Remember
I am a school teacher from New Jersey, constantly trying to include the fun element in learning. What better way to teach children about history, science and art than field trips? Field trips have long been known to have a positive impact on knowledge retention. According to a recent study conducted by the US Travel Association on 400 adults, those who went on educational trips had better grades (59%), higher graduation rates from high school (95%) and college (63%), and higher income (12% higher annually). The figures were regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
For the past couple of years, we have been organizing regular field trips for our students. Last spring was no exception. The pre-planning involved a lot of tasks and since we were already lagging, we got cracking:
.Choosing the destination: We wanted it to be educational and fun. We got some parents and teachers to make suggestions and then called for a vote. The destination chosen was the highly entertaining and interactive Garden State Discovery Museum, as it seemed perfect for kids from grades 1 to 4. We made a group reservation at the museum and luckily got a confirmation for the day intended for the trip.
· Arranging transportation: Next came the task of selecting a reliable bus tour company. After several discussions with the school management and operations staff, we chose a New Jersey-based motor coach bus company, Panorama Tours, Inc. and requested a quote from them. They helped us choose the particular bus and gave us many tips for the trip.
· Compiling necessary documents: We did not want any important paperwork undone at the last moment, so we made a checklist of the documents required, including forms signed permission forms, parent or guardian’s emergency contact information, checklist of all students and helpers and documents that were to be presented in hardcopy at the museum. We also kept extra money for emergency situations. Checking these documents before leaving ensured a smooth flow of events.
The Day of the Trip
It was a treat to see the students so excited. We hopped onto the specially decorated charter bus #701 sent for the trip.
Being the largest children’s museum in South Jersey, Garden State Discovery Museum had a lot to offer in terms of knowledge on culture, art, history and science.It was an amazing experience and a memorable trip for the children. This museum is a powerhouse of modern-day education. It hosts 15 interactive exihibts that facilitate learning by letting the childen touch, create and explore various learning elements.
Our field trip included a two-hour museum visit and an interactive workshop for kids, followed by lunch. While the children were their happiest on getting to walk, jump, punch, create and draw, we teachers had our share of fun too, thanks to the very professional and friendly museum staff.
After an amazing experience with the interactive museum exhibits, the children were led to an interactive workshop called Artology. This reintroduced children to art as science, and turned them into craftsmen while they learnt how to create art supplies like color markers by scientific methods.
The level of engagement and creativity that the children exhibited was contagious. We became kids too, and tried our hands at everything the museum had to offer.
As much as we enjoyed the entire day, our trip also ended on a happy note. Before we got the children to board the bus, the museum staff handed over customized souvenir gifts to every student, further adding to their joy. This year, we are planning another field trip and I hope it’s as exciting as it was last year.