Twenty-first century American education is one of constant evolution. Textbooks can be accessed online instead of weighing down backpacks, video chats make the classroom more accessible than ever, and digital interactivity has revolutionized the way young minds study and retain information. While our education system has made great strides to keep pace with this technological progress, it often lags in retooling a school staple: the field trip
Since we were students ourselves, the prospect of an outing beyond the confines of campus was exciting primarily for the novelty of being outside the typical classroom environment; learning something new in a different location was usually secondary. But this generation of students is different. As the developed world pivots from manufacturing and agriculture to the service and technology industries, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is increasingly emphasized. Field trips, a key supplement to the educational experience by displaying practical applications of classroom concepts in a real-world environment, have evolved as well. Once a staid visit to a museum or historic mansion, field trips n w allow students to meet with university researchers, tour biomedical facilities and participate in an incredible slate of programming offered by the National Park Service.
This edition of Student Travel Planning Guide seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of STEM field trips across the nation. In fact, our editorial team has been so thorough in its research that nearly double the coverage can be found on our online portal. These city profiles go beyond the typical museums and tours and reveal the accessible STEM experience no classroom can hope to match. From whale watching in Boston to the physics of roller coasters in Los Angeles, you’ll be sure to find a illuminating activity to spark STEM interest in your students and rejuvenate your department. As well, our front-of-book features showcase observation decks for stunning city views, tech tools offered by industry-leading student travel operators and tips for teachers embarking on their fir t STEM adventure.