Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:27 AM

What are some ideas for science field trips that will be helpful for higher elementary students? I want to ensure that students are learning and are productive throughout the trip. Any possible science related location would be helpful!

Farah Aziz
Farah Aziz
1025 Activity Points

Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:33 AM

I believe in taking field trips that are in our own backyard. If you happen to have a state park close by, or some type of industrial plant, and a college or university, those are great places that help students connect to their community. I work with the dean of engineering at our local university and take an entire grade level, about 75 students, to spend the day in the engineering and chemistry departments. The dean sets everything up on his end and I schedule the buses and get the lunches organized from the cafeteria or students bring their own. The classes rotate through different classrooms and the university students lead some of the lessons. We've learned about wind tunnels, robotics, polymers, biochemistry with real live alligators. The state park is about 20 minutes from most of the schools so we pack our lunches and get on the bus. Each student has a clipboard and a pencil tied to the clipboard in their backpacks. I have a box with handouts, field guides, magnifying glasses, thermometers, etc. (I encourage parents to come if possible and give them jobs to do.) The other teachers, even if they aren't science teachers, are assigned to a team and given the parameters of what has to be accomplished at the site. We went about a month ago and found an alligator slide. (It's a place where the grass is matted down by the weight of the alligator when they come up on the bank to warm up before they slide back into the water to cool off again.) We are always looking for evidence of wildlife.
I also invite people to come to the school to give a demonstration and answer questions. Last year, I invited 3 engineers to come speak with 150 4th and 5th graders about their jobs. In the initial invitation I requested that they share what types of activities they like to do when they were around the same age as the students. I also made sure I had female engineers too. We went over with the students what types of questions were appropriate and asking about someone's salary is not appropriate.
You might contact museums that are either in town or less than an hour away to see if they offer something for upper elementary students.

Pamela Dupre
Pam Dupre
83406 Activity Points

Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:23 PM

I think there are many places you can go for field trips, even if they are not a well known museum or something of that nature. We used to go on field trips that were simply exploring the prairie by our school. Science is fairly easy in that sense, you can walk outside and there is science all around you.

Allison Gandrup
Allison Gandrup
3790 Activity Points

Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:26 PM

Pam, I really like your idea of visiting a local university with students! I know from experience that children at this age look up to young adults, which provides a much greater chance for the students to listen! A great idea for them would be to visit the greenhouse (in the university has one) or, doing something even in a science class, or EL ED methods course.

Haley Wiebenga
Haley Wiebenga
1343 Activity Points

Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:59 PM

Interactive science museums are always a huge hit. Another great place to visit is the zoo to speak with the zoo keepers about habitats, in addition to the green house or a farm! My most memorable field trips was the butterfly garden and the aquarium!

Caroline Cummings
Caroline Cummings
150 Activity Points

Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:15 AM

There was a great science field trip that I got to observe in my students teaming called Days of Taste. It was a three day process that followed the process of a well-designed experiment and combined the subject of health and good eating all in one! A nearby farm partnered with the school to come to the school the first day and introduce the topic while giving the students different types of demonstration powders to get their taste buds flowing and practice prediction and data collections. The second day the kids went to the farm to see the process of making milk and cheese and harvesting the crops that they are growing. The third and final day, the farm comes back to the classroom alongside of a local restaurant that benefits and works with the farm to finish the investigation process and confirm or reject hypothesis. Then they get to use the foods that they learned about to create a salad that would be the best fit for your health. The combination of incorporating science, health and arts with they creation and display process works out great for the students learning benefits!

Darcey Bodziony
Darcey Bodziony
930 Activity Points

Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:43 AM

Darcey, I would love to go on that field trip!!!

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
83406 Activity Points

Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:26 PM

We studied habitats and what animals eat. We have a place here locally called Bear Country USA. We took a tour of the facility and then the nutritionist for the animals came and showed us how they prepare the meals for the bears and other animals. There was actually a Scholastic News article about how meals are prepared at zoos or animal sanctuaries. It was perfect timing with our field trip. If you have a local zoo or animal rescue place you can ask if you can take a field trip and talk about nutrition of animals .

Brenda Velasco
Brenda Velasco
1825 Activity Points

Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:53 PM

Hi Farah,

I believe informal education is extremely important for children and is very powerful for student learning. Depending on where you are located, you can utilize nature outside of the school, such as a state park, or museums. I am located in Maryland and had to opportunity to volunteer at the Maryland Science Center. During this time, I was able to observe children of all ages engage in different types of informal learning and actively engage in on-floor education. The museums also have a lot to offer on their websites for educators and provide very insightful activities that may interest you to use in your classroom.

Hope this helps.

Vanessa Gonzalez
Vanessa Gonzalez
745 Activity Points

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:48 PM

I think it is a great idea as well! I go to a college in NY and we love having children come and we can do workshops with them! It is hands-on learning both for the students and the college students!

Megan Hill
Megan Hill
290 Activity Points

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