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High school is a glorious time for exploring the world around you. If you’re a teacher or an involved parent, you probably welcome the return of field trips after the pandemic interruptions. Where should you take your learners to benefit them mentally and enhance their academic experience?
Various activities are ideal for this age group that doesn’t require quite the close supervision of the younger set. They’re also old enough to gain educational value from sites of historic interest. Here are eight field trip ideas for high school now that you are once freer to roam with your class.
1. Renaissance Faire
The Renaissance Faire is a glorious place to explore how people lived long ago. Your class will enjoy numerous live performances, some funny, some serious. Others include impressive acts of skill, such as falconry and jousting.
Your class members can get into the day’s spirit by designing homemade costumes to wear as they mingle with the players. Be sure to have them bring a bit of spending cash, as there are souvenirs galore — although you might have to clarify a few rules. Your school might have a well-designed no weapons policy that doesn’t exclude medieval swords.
Do you teach biology or animal sciences? If so, the zoo is a natural spot to take your class to learn more about the fascinating creatures sharing the planet. It’s downright magical if you can coincide your visit with a special exhibit about a particular animal you’re studying, but you’ll gain educational value any time you visit.
Please ensure your students know to dress comfortably in weather-appropriate clothing with sturdy walking shoes. You should also advise them to wear a hat and sunglasses and bring plenty of sunscreen — most zoos are primarily outdoor venues. Does your location have a water feature like a splash pad? If so, encourage swimsuits under clothing so your learners can safely beat the heat without violating the dress code.
The planetarium makes a wonderful addition to nearly any science curriculum. You could learn about the physics involved in calculating the distances between celestial objects or rocket fuel chemistry. These indoor venues might also be the best place for your kids to see the stars clearly for the first time if you live in an area plagued by light pollution, like many major metropolitan areas.
Your local center probably has numerous shows appropriate for learners of all ages. Coordinate with your venue in advance — you may play a role in selecting what your class will see.
4. Science Center
Science centers offer hands-on learning opportunities where your students can perform experiments and enjoy sharing results with their peers. You’ll also learn more about the many researchers who have shaped the world through their contributions.
Coordinating your visit well in advance allows you to take advantage of student pricing. Be aware that you may have to pay extra for experiences like IMAG — advise your students to bring cash.
You can find oodles of museums to explore with your students. If your district is within a few hours’ drive of a major metro area, you can have your learners download an app like GPSmyCity and take a walking tour of several within the same few blocks.
You can also find museums dedicated to special interests. For example, Dave’s Wheels Through Time explores everything motorcycle-related, including how the Harley and Indian companies played pivotal roles in multiple U.S. war efforts. Talk about a fun way to engage otherwise reluctant learners who question why they must study social studies while taking shop classes!
If your district lies within a few hours of the Big Apple, it is well worth taking your students to a Broadway play as a field trip idea for high school. This unique experience is one-of-a-kind for rural learners who may otherwise never venture into the city.
However, folks on the west coast need not despair. There are tons of area theaters that recreate the Broadway experience a little bit closer to home. Many such facilities offer group and student discounts. Who knows? You may inspire the next Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer of the hit musical “Hamilton.”
7. Government Buildings
Although you might endure stricter security measures, many government buildings welcome student visitors who want to learn about various parts of the legal process. For example, many federal courthouses allow students to ask questions of a judge and view a mock trial to teach them about the justice system.
A trip to your state capital is a rite of passage for many social studies students. Once you contact the customer care center, you should receive a tour date with a dedicated guide who will explain the various regions of the building and answer questions about how new bills become law.
8. Historical Reenactments
Historical reenactments can add depth and meaning to otherwise dry-sounding events that students read about in books. For example, it’s hard to look at the bucolic fields of Gettysburg on a peaceful Pennsylvania morning and envision them running with the blood of fallen soldiers. Viewing a reenactment of the historic battle makes it much more real for your learners.
Are you out in the wild, wild west? A trip to Tombstone to see the original OK Corral and view a reenactment of the famous gun battle is a great way to engage movie fans. The town is rife with supposedly haunted locations like Big Nose Kate’s Saloon to enchant any wannabe ghost adventurers in your midst.
Field Trip Ideas for High School
Field trips enhance the educational experience. Now that most areas have lifted pandemic restrictions, why not take advantage?
Try one of these eight field trip ideas for high school. You’ll engage your older students while adding depth to their classroom lectures and possibly inspire future careers.