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Elementary Science

Field Trips

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Rochelle Rodriguez Rochelle Rodriguez 125 Points

What are some good, unique field trip ideas that will keep the students engaged, but also help them more about science??

Flavio Mendez Flavio Mendez 46266 Points

Hi Rochelle,

I also like the idea of field trips. This article talks about methods and strategies for successful field trips. Might be a good read and feel free to share it forward.

https://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/sc14_051_09_74

Take care,

Flavio.

Rebecca Falin Rebecca Falin 71530 Points

Hi Rochelle,

Field trips can be a great way to engage students with science.  Our school asks us to include one field trip for each class.   Local museum and other educational institutions are a good place to start.  I've taken my chemistry students to a local aquarium the past two years where they have a hands-on program on water quality in the aquarium as well as a local waterway.  Biology students do a program at the natural history museum.  Environmental science students have done field studies at local parks, a waste treatment plants and composting facility.  This year we began the school year with a service project.  Students were bused to a number of location organizations, parks and institutes to do some volunteer work, but also to learn about the needs in the community.  A couple groups went to a local nature park and another to an arboretum where they both helped in planting and weeding and also learned some of the science behind maintaining a healthy ecosystem.  Think about what resources are available in your area and then make some phone calls.  

Rebecca Falin

Molly Livingston Molly Livingston 2393 Points

Hi Rochelle! I remember being in 7th grade and going to a camp for a week, we learned about so many different things. While I know that it is hard to pick students up and go to a camp for a week, I would like to tell you some of the science-like activities we did that would be a lot of fun for elementary students! At this camp, we went to the side of a hill that is known to have fossils. We were able to keep any fossil that we found and our teachers showed us a picture of a certain fossil, if we found that specific fossil, then we won a free coke. Another day, we had a rock speicialist come in and set up a physical timeline with the students and explained the years of dinosaurs and types of rocks.

Nicolette Walker Nicolette Walker 1918 Points

Greeting Rochelle! 

Of everything that I can remember loving in school, field trips topped the list for me! For science class, I can remember loving going to the local science museum. The one in the state I live in is extremely interactive and covers many different scientific concepts. I think if you decide to take them to a museum, first visit it yourself. Make sure the museum is interactive, fun, but still educational. If it meets all of that criteria, take them! They will learn so much and love it! But, the field trip that tops the list for me was in the 5th grade when we went camping. At this trip all of our lessons were incorporated in some way to nature. The thing I remember the most was the science sections of the lessons; we were able to have ands on lessons with different rocks we were learning about. We also were able to go on nature hikes and study the plants and creatures we saw. It was such an amazing experience that I think all schools should encourage it if the resources are available to make it happen!

Sydney Smith Sydney Smith 2068 Points

Hi, Rochelle!

I noticed that there are several people on this thread that gave you awesome feedback/suggestions. I did want to add that virtual field trips are so much fun to implement into classrooms, and I feel that a lot of students can benefit from them. I hope this gives you another option for you when it comes to field trips. :) 

Leah Whiten Leah Whiten 1058 Points

Hi Rochelle,

Some of my favorite field trips during my elementary school years were to The Oklahoma Science Muesuem. This is an interactive building for children to learn about science. I also enjoyed going to visit natural resources like Turner Falls.

Emma Moss Emma Moss 90 Points

Rochelle, 

We had a speaker from the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation come into our class and discussed a program called Farm Chat. This program allows you to go on a virtual fieldtrip with farmers, this way you won't have to leave your classroom to go on a fieldtrip if you dont have time or resources to take your class out of the school.

However if you do have the resources, another option would be to contact the Ag foundation and plan a trip to visit a farm and learn about the different animals, crops and technology. 

Another field trip that would be fun, is taking your class out to a local summer camp for the day or as an overnight trip. The class would be able to get involved with a ton of activities in nature as well as building a community between your students. 

 

Emma Moss 

Pre Service Teacher

Brooke Edwards Brooke Edwards 463 Points

Hi Rochelle,

Back when I was in elementary school learning about the environment, I would go on field trips to wooded areas near the water, that would allow us, as a class, to learn more about the wildlife environment and animals present in the area (ex: looking at the different food chains we could assemble by looking at the animals surrounding us). We could also took a glance at the water and the currents and tides.

Most students, like myself, do not typically like going to museums because it is very slow paced and students' interests can easily be lost. By taking the students out in a wooded area, it will allow them to explore what is truly out there with all the skills they have learned in the classroom (ex: importance of recycling, food chain).

Hope this helps!

Brooke

Jennifer Wiley Jennifer Wiley 120 Points

Hello Rochelle, 

   In all honesty, no matter where you go, you can always find some way to incorportate science. Something as simple as going to a fire station could be a unique field trip. There students can learn about the chemical reaction that creates fire and how it continues to burn. Another great field trip opportunity would be to take your students to a farm. Students should learn about agriculture and/or animals and a farm is a great way to do it. There are a lot of hands on experiences on a farm and it would be very easy to keep students engaged, especially if they get to pet some animals. You could also go to a local veterenarian. Students can learn about differences between animals, how we keep animals healthy, organ systems, etc.   Depending on where you are at, another great field trip ideas would be to visit a wind farm, hydroelectric damn, etc. Using natural resources is important and you can easily incorporate science with natural energy resources. If you think outside the box, you can really make any field trip connect to science! 

 

Jennifer Wiley 

Wartburg College

Pre-service teacher

Karlie Fahey Karlie Fahey 1655 Points

Hi Rochelle!

 

I am a student at the University of Northern Iowa and am currently enrolled in a science methods course. We recently did a project where we chose a local field trip location. We were required to visit the location, take pictures, and relate it to science learning. I also designed a creative way to display the field trip and incorporate the NGSS DCI's and standards to integrate into the field trip. I have attached the link below for you to view the field trip location and how you may be able to research and connect to NGSS. 

https://www.emaze.com/@AOFOFWZWZ/john-deere-museum 

I hope you enjoy! 

-Karlie 

Lesley Pena Lesley Pena 215 Points

Hello Rochelle, 

Some fun field trips I would suggest include going to the museum, a trip to the park or the zoo. Here you can implement topics dealing with nature, life cycles, and the animal kingdom. 

Maricela Valdez Maricela Valdez 205 Points

Hello Rochelle,

I noticed that several people already provided you with many ideas and super helpful resources but I would love to add that a grear idea to keep students engaged during the field trip is to make some kind of list of stuff they have to observe and find while they are there, somehwhat like a scavenger hunt. When I was in middle school, one of my teachers would always do this to us and it definitely kept us engaged and activly learning at the same time.

hope this helps,

Maricela Valdez

Mireya Fletes Mireya Fletes 125 Points

Hi Rochelle, 

I recently went to a science museumm for one of my science course and I had lots of fun. I took my 5 year old daughter to this field trip and she was engaged throughout the museum. As we walked around, I took notes of what was engaging and what was aligned to what I was teaching in my classroom. I hope this helps me when I plan a field trip for my class. 

Cynthia Spears Cynthia Spears 190 Points

Hi, Rochelle

I recomend maybe taking a field trip to an aquarium where they have many differerent hands on programs. I think that the students will have fun by interacting and not just standing around.

Kaity Cook Kaity Cook 190 Points

I think the idea of field trips has a ring to it, however, I worry about the effectivness of field trips. Personally, I cannot recall a single fact that I learned on any feild trips as a child but I can recall some of the other children I consistantly sat on the bus rides with. Someone else had mentioned the idea of virtual field trips and this is an idea that I look forward to considering more and potentially implementing in the future. 

 

Are there any strategies or tips others have about finding effective and engaging field trips that supplement the classroom curriculm? I wish I could find more ideas that are pertinant rather than just fun novelties to participate in. 

Blake Alexander Blake Alexander 520 Points

https://mods.org/

- Museum of Discovery and Science is fun and engaging because it has an aquarium, 3D science movies in IMAX, interactive stations, and indoor playground for the kids. This museum will definitely help the students learn more about science because the whole museum is interactive and allows the students to be hands-on. The museum has a gift shop and subway for lunch. 

Anne Lowry Anne Lowry 6915 Points

So much depends on your students' interests and what you are studying!  I have yet to NOT find a field trip idea for my class' interests

With the way things currently are, virtual field trips might be the way to go.  I have done them in my class and they have worked well.  Not quite as much fun as seeing the real thing in person, but still very interesting.  There are a number of sites; just google "virtual field trip".  The learning center also has a colelction :  https://learningcenter.nsta.org/mylibrary/collection.aspx?id=HDg4!plus!PfsWOY_E                 and I know there are other articles on virtual field trips as well

Another option, and one that has worked well for me, is bringing experts in.  My class has had some amazing experts keeping them engaged for well over an hour (one for more that three hours!).  I don't know if this will be possible in the age of COVID19, but consider it. 

And if all else fails, challenge your students to create their own ideal field trip and share it with another class

Good luck!

Anne                                                                                                                                                                                       

Sharnae Pegues Sharnae Pegues 620 Points

I've always found that museums are the way to go for science field trips! Trips that include hands on experiences for the students will, without a doubt, be very engaging and interesting. They'll want to retell their experiences to other peers which could spark in interest in them as well.

Maria Garcia Maria Garcia 590 Points

Hello! 

When I was in elementary school, I was in a school that was being aided by Discovery Education. They would fund different things, such as textbooks, materials and field trips. My favorite and most memorable in regards to academics was to Adlet Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. Any planetarium would be an amazing learning experience especially if there is a good tour guide/presenter. Do your research to ensure that your students have the best experience possible!

Mikayla Freeze Mikayla Freeze 1858 Points

Hi, Rochelle!

I remember in school that field trips were always my favorite, but due to money, was always hard to get funded. Sometimes, field trips can be simple and require little funding. There was a park on the far side of my high school, being less than a 5 minute walk. One day, my high school science teacher decided that we were going to take a field trip to the park and observe the different types of life around the pond. We observed the different types of birds, squirrels, turtles and many other things. We even got a sample of a water from a few places and tested the pH levels. While we did not go very far, it was one of my most mememorable field trips taken.

Claire Schroeder Claire Schroeder 170 Points

Rochelle,

 

What specific part of science are you wanting students to learn about on the field trip?

 

Claire Schroeder

Pre-service Teacher

Wartburg College

Molly Hart Molly Hart 525 Points

Hi all,

Field trips pertaining to any subject is a great way to foster an interest and love for the content area and material. The Maryland Science Center located in Baltimore, MD (there are science centers in other locations as well) is an incredible learning opportunity for science education. Not only does it encompass many different forms of science, but it is very hands on and allows for interactive learning. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with current staff members on three different occassions. This is a great experience for students of all different diversities. It has Spanish on many of its exhibits and is accessible to many different types of people. This would be a great place to bring students of all different levels. Thanks for the other suggestions!

Christy Peterman Christy Peterman 1033 Points

This year our fall field trip to a pumpkin patch was canceled the day before we went.  I quickly called our local State Park, Eisenhower, and planned a last-minute field trip to nature hunt and look for fossils.  I only had a day but made each child a blank booklet for leaf and fossil rubbings.  As we hiked I pointed out the color of the leaves and discussed with my group why the leaves might be changing colors.  The whole second-grade class loved it and the teachers have all decided to plan to go next year as well.  Next year, I will plan nature journaling lessons into our lesson plans weeks before we go.  We will discuss how to record weather, clouds, animal activity, and other nature finds into their nature journals.  They loved the trip, but I feel we could have included much more nature into the lesson, not to mention the fossil aspect.  I told my team this was the beginning of a wonderful science field trip tradition for our school, and they all agreed.  

Angelyn Lazo Angelyn Lazo 4195 Points

Hi Rochelle! 

 

Field trips, in my opinion, are a great way for students to get outside the classroom and enjoy education in a different way. I think museums and public parks are good places to take students. One place that I went as a child was the Zoo. This is a great way to get children to learn about animals and what environments they live in. The planetarium was another place I went to as a child, this is another great way to get students to learn about space and stars! Anything you teach can be linked to a field trip, and it can make the students excited and more engaged to be outside and explore in a fun area other than the classroom! Hope this helps!

Natalie Martinez Natalie Martinez 400 Points

I think a good field trip idea to take the students on, where they can be engaged in science and have a fun time would be to go to your local science museum. The students are learning and having fun interacting with the exhibits.

 

Payton Meyer Payton Meyer 5160 Points

When I was in elementary school I remember going to the science museum in my town, but we also took a trip to the Children's Museum as well and they had a lot of fun science related explorations for all of us (engineering, physical changes, speed and motion). That was one of my favorite field trips as a kid. When I got into middle school we took a field trip out to a park in my town and we used this opportunity to talk about the environment and nature. This day had a lot to do with making sure that we were helping to keep our planet clean and the benefits of doing so. I think there are quite a bit of things that you can do if you take your students out into nature, so that could be a really fun and engaging field trip!

Emily Walker Emily Walker 1044 Points

Hi!

I think some really good engaging field trips that would be interactive would be going to science city or union station. Something similar to that would be an interactive experiments or showing the laws of gravity. The places I named are great for that and I know from experience that it keeps children very engaged! 

I hope this was helpful!

Barbara Daley Barbara Daley 440 Points

A lot of museums have travelling programs as well so if your class is unable to travel, there are programs that are willing to come to you.  Some can be expensive so do your research.  Many will do multiple performances in one day. 

 

My daughter's school had a laser presentation the last two years and the students loved it.  It was called Prismatic Magic.  www.prismaticmagic.com  The presenter teaches students about lasers in an age appropriate way (our school had 3 performances--grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8).  Then the organizer can choose from a variety of themes for a laser show with music.  They use current music with clean lyrics.

Evelyn Gonzalez Evelyn Gonzalez 70 Points

Hello Rochelle,

 

I think that a grat way to keep your students engaged in a field trip is creating a game where they can find and search thing that are realted to science. For exampe, maybe if they are going to the zoo or to a park have them look for an object or an animal that relates to science and the one that finds the most and explains why he or she thinks they connect to science wins. That way they can be motivated in the game.

Evelyn Gonzalez

Debanhi Garcia Debanhi Garcia 45 Points

Hi, I will like to share with you about a field trip I had when I was in Middle School. I went with the rest of my classmates and teachers of course to the aquarium. It was really fun, we had the opportunity to learn more about the marine life while we also had a lot of fun. It was a great experience and we were all so thankful that our teacher gave us the opportunity to attend. We discovered many different types of fish, sharks, turtles etc. I think it's a great idea to take your students to a place where science is literally all around them, they can learn, and have fun all at the same time. 

Lorena Herrera Lorena Herrera 20 Points

Hi Rochelle,

A visit to the mesume can always be a fun science field trip. I remember visitng several musums when I was in elementary and they were always fun and informative!

Emily Williams Emily Williams 1355 Points

Hi there! I am a second grade teacher in the Nashville, TN area, and we are actually getting ready to take a field trip to the Adventure Science Center in Nashville this month! I love this field trip because the center is like a giant indoor science playground and even has a large dome shaped theater and gravity swings.  If you live anywehere near any kind of science center or discovery center and think it would be age appropriate for your students, I would go for it! I also love nature walks on our local greenway walking sytem that is next to a river!

Katherine Gonzalez Katherine Gonzalez 145 Points

Hello!

I am very fortunate that my school allows us to go on CBI (Community Based Instruction) trips every week. Most trips are simple where we go to the grocery store, but I also like to go on educational trips. My class has gone to a place where rescue animals are located. We have gone to a sceince center and other museums. Children will enjoy anywhere you take them because they enjoy being outdoors. 

ErIca Ernst ErIca Ernst 150 Points

Rochelle,

I think it is great that you are expanding your classroom to go somewhere and be interactive with your students on a field trip. When I was younger we had a science center in our town that was close enough to walk. This was really fun because we were able to get outside and walk and then when we got to the science center we went on a tour and then had time in groups to explore on our own. It gets the studetns active, socially interactive and they were able to then go and see/experience what they were more interested in. 

Adam Chavez Adam Chavez 170 Points

A field trip to the local zoo is often a staple in many elementary school curricula. Many zoos offer free entry to local teachers and their students. Teachers take students on field trips to enrich the curriculum, make connections to what students are learning in school, and provide students with meaningful learning experiences that can include science and nature.

 

 

 Are there any fun science actvities that can be used in the classroom of first graders?

Eulalia Guillen Eulalia Guillen 200 Points

Field trips are a great way for studnets to engage in learning and experience new ideas. Some good ideas would be a visit to the zoo, any aquariums near by, visit a science museum, or even a lab tour to teach lab safety rules.

Dapheney Martinez Dapheney Martinez 755 Points

i think that some of the best frield trips are taking students to a science museum, or the zoo, or even a butterfly conservatory. Somewhere where they get some type of hands on experience or get to make or play with something. Where they can actually DO science. 

Andrea Vassallo Andrea Vassallo 420 Points

I love field trips with kids!

Teaching science with field trips engages students tremendously! Some places students are able to go on a field trip are: Museums, IMAX theatres (Educational), Zoo, Beach, Botanical Gardens, Planetorium, Aquarium, and Virtual Field trips

Sebastian Benitez Sebastian Benitez 605 Points

I think field trips are awesome! I remember I had a field trip to the zoo when I was in the fifth grade. We were learning about different types of animals and what type of climates they lived in. We compared the places the animals were at to others. For example, the lions had a more outside type of home compared to the penguin's cold water home. Field trips are a great way to get the students more interested in the lesson and have them remember the lesson for a long time. The most memorable moments can take a student a long way! 

Sebastian Benitez Sebastian Benitez 605 Points

I think field trips are awesome! I remember I had a field trip to the zoo when I was in the fifth grade. We were learning about different types of animals and what type of climates they lived in. We compared the places the animals were at to others. For example, the lions had a more outside type of home compared to the penguin's cold water home. Field trips are a great way to get the students more interested in the lesson and have them remember the lesson for a long time. The most memorable moments can take a student a long way! 

Sebastian Benitez Sebastian Benitez 605 Points

I think field trips are awesome! I remember I had a field trip to the zoo when I was in the fifth grade. We were learning about different types of animals and what type of climates they lived in. We compared the places the animals were at to others. For example, the lions had a more outside type of home compared to the penguin's cold water home. Field trips are a great way to get the students more interested in the lesson and have them remember the lesson for a long time. The most memorable moments can take a student a long way! 

Sebastian Benitez Sebastian Benitez 605 Points

I think field trips are awesome! I remember I had a field trip to the zoo when I was in the fifth grade. We were learning about different types of animals and what type of climates they lived in. We compared the places the animals were at to others. For example, the lions had a more outside type of home compared to the penguin's cold water home. Field trips are a great way to get the students more interested in the lesson and have them remember the lesson for a long time. The most memorable moments can take a student a long way! 

Sebastian Benitez Sebastian Benitez 605 Points

I think field trips are awesome! I remember I had a field trip to the zoo when I was in the fifth grade. We were learning about different types of animals and what type of climates they lived in. We compared the places the animals were at to others. For example, the lions had a more outside type of home compared to the penguin's cold water home. Field trips are a great way to get the students more interested in the lesson and have them remember the lesson for a long time. The most memorable moments can take a student a long way! 

Stephany Colato Stephany Colato 765 Points

Field trips are a great way to engage childern. In  1st grade I went to a museum called sciworks , it  was a  Science museum offering interactive exhibits & an environmental park with animal habitats & gardens. I remember how cool and exicting it was seeing  where aniamls live and learning about the animlas that lived there.  Trips like those stay ine one's memory always.

Riley Keefer Riley Keefer 280 Points

If a teacher is interested in a field trip that is not on the normal course calendar what steps need to be taken to have it approved? Are there specific criteria that need to be implemented?

Andrea Herren Andrea Herren 905 Points

Hello, 

On some of the field trips I have taken my students on, I always make sure there is something to hold the students accountable for their learning when on field trips. I have created scavenger hunts for the when we have gone to the zoo. For example, I had student write down one of the "facts" posted by an animals habitat and they would have to write it down and connec it to if its a mammal, reptile, etc.. 

Yaima Rodriguez Yaima Rodriguez 600 Points

Hi Rochelle,

Field trips are definitely fun and engaging.  I know with everything going on there are a lot of museums that are offering virtual field trips.  One field trip that I would love to do with my students is Epcot in Disney World. Epcot, has a lot of science based activities. In the field trip itself the instructor can give a page of questions to answer while the students are riding the rides in the park. On Teachers Pay Teachers I found a couple of work sheets that can be used.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:epcot

Jesse Bechnainou Jesse Bechnainou 975 Points

You don't neccessarily have to take your students on a field trip. They could go on a nature walk with you around the school if you want to teach a lesson about life science.

But here are some special places I think you could take the students for field trips:

1. An Aquarium (To teach about marine biology)

2. A Botanical Garden (To teach about flowers and other plants)

3. A Farm (To show how crops are grown)

4. A Bakery (To teach chemistry about the cooking process)

5. A hospital or nursing Home (To teach about healthcare and medical science) 

6. Children's Theater (to see plays or demonstrations about science)

 

 

Jasmine Mathew Jasmine Mathew 546 Points

Last school year I was able to bring Marine science students (3 classes ) to coconut island in kaneohe, HI.  THey have a wonderful lab set up where students are able to view plankton under high magnifications as well as an opportunity to sort therough a sample of ocean into the many species. They also got to see the shark enclosures.    The students said it was a life changing experience.  Our 9th grade biology students were able to go to Papahana kuaola also in Kaneohe where they were able to work in the taro patch and collect invasive frogs fromt he stream.  

Now virtual trips may be available as well to be able to explore over seas.  THe feeling you get traveling with your classmates is second to none.  

Alondra Garcia Alondra Garcia 610 Points

Hello Rochelle, 

I have to agree that field trips are a great way to keep your students engaged as part of your science curriculum. I remember going to a museum where they had alot of different rooms/areas with hands on activities of all kinds which all worked perfectly with science it was a blast and it definetly kept the kids engaged while learning. I would suggest you look into your local museum and check in to see if they have any science event or science related activities going on to get the class to go to. Hope this helps!

Cynthia Carrizales Cynthia Carrizales 470 Points

Hello!

Field trips are a great way to get the hands-on experience outside the classroom. I remember going to science museums and LOVING everything in it. There were different rooms with different things. I especially remember this solar system room where you can see the planets floating around you. There were also some hands-on activities you can do in other rooms. There's also outdoor settings, such as wildlife parks, that are great to get to know the animals that are in your area. Zoos are also a perfect place to go for a field trip.

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