What is a field trip? It could be VR, AI or real. It could be short, a day field trip or long as in Earthwatch , or the Fulbright Experience. It could be online and after school in learning places in the neighborhood. I love it when they are journeys of the mind. I love taking kids to a place prepared to stretch their minds with a head full of knowledge. We prepared for our field trips and profited from pre-learning.
This was a field trip with students to the Science and Engineering Festival. It would be hard to prepare for this one, but we had been studying Dinosaurs, reading books, looking at images online, seeing videos, using ramification ( Dynotycoon) and making them out of clay. We can’t take a real dinosaur field trip, but we know where to go to learn more.
We could learn with a game. That is not a field trip, but a trip using ramification to explore a mythical Dinopark. Here
You can just imagine the shrieks of joy as students programming a robotic dinosaur. This learning venture required some base knowledge, some reading, some knowledge of geography and study of a special kind of dinosaur. As far as I know the closest dinosaur field trip a real one is to Saltville , Va.
After nearly 100 years of study, the town’s ancient fossil beds continue to yield surprises.
ETSU paleontologists are the most recent in a long line of researchers to collect specimens in the Saltville Valley. This year is the 50th anniversary of a Virginia Tech agreement with the Smithsonian Institution to excavate and study specimens found here in the 1960s, including a 7-foot-long section of mastodon tusk.
Scientific digs began much earlier, in 1917, when a collapsed industrial salt well revealed a rich layer of prehistory that drew the attention of the Carnegie Institution. The town’s Museum of the Middle Appalachians, which now oversees the digs, is planning to celebrate next year with a centennial symposium, executive director Janice Orr said.
But accidental finds go back at least to the 18th century, and possibly much further.
In a letter dated 1782, Arthur Campbell wrote to Thomas Jefferson, former Virginia governor and future U.S. president, about the discovery at Saltville of the bones of a “large jaw tooth of an unknown animal lately found at the Salina in Washington County.”
MUSEUMS AND MAPS?
The Smithsonian used to have a dinosaur outside of the museum. I was missing a child from a field trip. He had been mesmerized by the dinosaur and climbed it. He could not get down. I spotted him from the bus and a parent went to help him climb down. That dinosaur is no longer available to climb.
WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN AND WHY?
Those are the questions we asked.
Where in the US did the dinosaurs live? Here
You can learn a lot studying paleobiology at this Smithsonian web site. Here
Who can teach me more about dinosaurs?
What are ten things Kids need to know about dinosaurs?Here
Why do we care about dinosaurs? What are the known dinosaurs?
The first blockbuster movie that influenced my teaching was about dinosaurs, I was about Jurassic Park. I had never been interested in them but I had to rise to the challenge and fit the interest of those who loved the big beasts. First, I had to see the movie and then think of ways to add, augment, share , expand their knowledge in meaningful ways. The movie is online at Amazon Prime ( the whole movie).
Jurassic Park ( the movie)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5C7dqrAItM
I also needed to share the movie experience with the students who had not seen it and make available the book and the many books and magazines about dinosaurs.
You may not know what the learning places and museums have to offer you and your children or students. Take a planning trip there. See how they do outreach. Talk to them.
I explained to a group of interested people that 2 field trips a year were often the most that children could take and suggested use of some of the budget for a bus. Or to do outreach to the school. My school scheduled a Museum bus on Saturdays for parents and students.
I also wrote grants and requests for field trips , movies, and realia for the classroom. Virtual field trips are good, real ones are good , a combination with Skype is good.
Museums have gone digital and they have much to share online.
There are many experiences that are virtual
Dinosaur Art ( K-3)
High School Geniversity ( Build a Dragon)