Posted: Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Illustration by Lisa Nguyen
The school year isn’t complete without a quality field trip. Getting out of the classroom and into the world is an experience full of educational potential and lifelong memories. Read on for some of the most precious field trip memories from the Education.com editors.
Stick a fork in it
To make history a little more tangible, my fifth grade class voyaged to Angel Island for a Civil War-era reenactment sleepover of sorts. For me, the highlight of the trip was the night watch. My allotted time was 0200-0400. While the other kids were melting chocolate, I was roasting plastic forks, one at a time, over an open flame. It was fascinating to watch the tines curl up, recoiling from the heat. Out of all the forks I melted, only once did the tines spiral just right, creating what resembled a tiny, thumbless fist. Thus my love of crafting was born. –Katherine
Bog on our brain
Favorite field trip: the town bog. Weeks of lecturing from our seventh grade science teacher about this fragile ecosystem (“Don’t touch ANYTHING!”) culminated when my buddy Pat performed a running cannonball straight into the bog. It remains the most valiant affront to authority I have ever seen. –Johanna
I was lucky enough to go on lots of great class trips organized by my school; I can’t emphasize that enough. But for this post I’m sticking with Mom. Once every year or two my mom made it a point to take me and my siblings out from school for a day to go to a museum or out in nature. “Ditching” school to go to a museum? It was one way to instill a love of learning. Pretty sneaky, Mom. –Candice
Where the elephant seals play
When I was in the fourth grade, my class went on a field trip to see our local elephant seals during mating season at Año Nuevo State Park. We spent a rainy day at the beach walking along paths and watching elephant seal males fight. On the bus ride home, we sang “The Elephant Seal Song”: How would it feel/To be an elephant seal/With a great big blubbery body?/How would you feel/If an elephant seal/Asked you to be its blubber buddy? –Blythe
About the journey
In first grade, my class went to the San Francisco Symphony. The music didn’t do much for me, but I’ll never forget leaving the subway and ascending onto windy, bustling Market Street for the first time. In the midst of downtown mayhem, the trenchcoated business folk dashing by the blanketed street people, the chaotic mix of sounds echoing off imposing brick buildings, was a single-file line of enthralled children from a different world. –David
I don’t know about the best, but I remember the worst: the San Francisco Bay Model. The Bay Model is a working model of the San Francisco Bay that was used by scientists to study its tidal patterns. While it has the potential to be really cool, I remember it as being in a poorly lit, uninviting warehouse, with some very dry docents who didn’t really know how to talk to kids. I also remember being disappointed that, even though the model is huge and bright blue and covered in miniature bridges that are just begging to have toy cars driven over them, we weren’t allowed to touch it. –Jody
Got a good field trip story? Tell us about it by commenting below!