Talk about distance learning.
Windsor elementary students are going on a series of virtual field trips that will take them around the world and beyond. UPK, kindergarten, and 2nd grade students are all taking Ag in the Classroom farm trips, first graders are taking a virtual airplane flight, third graders are taking a trip around the world to explore cultures, fourth graders are watching the NASA launch of Space-X, and fifth graders are going on a virtual trip to Mars.
“One of the biggest things we’ve been hearing is that the kids are missing each other. Parents have been reaching out saying kids are talking about missing those end-of-year milestones like field days and field trips. We reached out to PE teachers about Buddy Field Days and they came up with a virtual one. We thought, ‘Is there a way to do virtual field trips?’,” said Bell Elementary Principal Lorrie Hulbert.
Special-area teachers in each grade level came up with a virtual experience. Art teacher Danielle Saraceno will lead 3rd graders on field trip around the world using YouTube, Zoom, Google Earth, and Google Arts and Culture.
“They will be learning about Italy, France, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The students received passports in the mail that they can fill out as we are on our field trip. My hope is that the students will see how much is out there for them to experience one day,” said Ms. Saraceno.
3rd graders are studying their family traditions in preparation for the trip. 4th graders, meanwhile, had meetings to prepare for the Space-X launch. For 5th graders, their extraterrestrial trip sounds extra special.
“The formats in the Google Earth Voyage "Mars on Earth" and NASA and Google's joint venture for the Access Mars web site allows for students investigate and uncover mysteries in space and specifically on Mars,” said elementary science teacher Deborah Kalivoda.
Mrs. Kalivoda will have students watch a video about Devon Island, an uninhabited island in the Arctic that scientists are using as Mars on Earth for some training purposes. Students will also watch a one-minute video about how the rover Curiosity was delivered to Mars. Then, students will be able to access a function on Google allowing them to drive the rover and explore Mars.
“Research has even shown that curiosity is just as important as intelligence in determining how well students do in school. We hope these field trip experiences will not only be fun but encourage us all to seek answers, be curious and continue to learn,” said Mrs. Kalivoda.
“Our hope is that the kids not only get the experience of being exposed to a field trip, but also another experience that is more meaningful than just going someplace. We want it to be different than anything they would have done,” said Mrs. Hulbert.