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Field trips are great opportunities for teachers and students to take a break from their usual routines, open up and enjoy themselves. While enjoyment is the most important factor, field trips should still have some sort of lesson or educational value, especially as students get older. That’s why planning a trip for high school students is more difficult than planning one for grade-schoolers. Still, you have plenty of options if you know where to look. Here are some field trip ideas for high school students that are sure to leave a lasting impression!
History-based attractions are generally the easiest to find compared to other subjects, because history is all around us. Thousands of cities and towns have their claim to fame, and chances are your area has something too. Consider these historical field trip ideas for your high school students!
1. History Museum
A historical museum is the best way to expose students to as much information as possible in one day. Some museums specialize in a specific topic or time period, while others cover the entire human experience, from pre-history to the present day. It also takes the pressure off teachers to organize the entire day’s schedule. A typical museum tour takes several hours to complete, and the exhibits will keep students captivated throughout.
2. Historical Site
Historical sites might not have the same visual appeal as museums, but walking on the hallowed grounds of a great battle or through the house of a heroic individual makes the experience more immersive. They’re also more widespread and easily found than museums. You might have to travel to the nearest big city for a museum, while an interesting historical site could be right in your local area. The employees at historical sites are unmatched experts on the subject, which makes the tours more informative and allows students to fully appreciate the site’s importance.
Most historical sites perform annual or biannual reenactments on the event’s anniversary, which can add another layer of entertainment to your field trip. Such reenactments are known for their accuracy and attention to detail, as enthusiasts from all over the world bring their own gear and artifacts to make the experience as immersive as possible.
4. Renaissance Faire
This field trip might be hard to find compared to other historical attractions, but a renaissance faire drops you into another time period in a way that few other attractions can replicate. The workers are wholly devoted to their characters, the food tastes delicious and the variety of entertainment is unmatched. Jousting, fencing, plays and other activities will keep your students more than busy. Simply interacting with the employees is a treat, and students can bring home all kinds of souvenirs.
Science attractions are unique because they work just as well on adults as they do on children. In other words, they’re highly entertaining. Who doesn’t love to see animals up close and interact with exhibits? Here are some great science-based field trip ideas for your high school students.
1. Science Museum
Science museums cover a wide range of studies, from geography to chemistry to biology, so each of your students should find something that interests them. Plus, since all science is based on experimentation, these museums tend to have more interactive features to engage visitors of all ages.
Aquariums are known for their breathtaking marine life exhibits and amazing biodiversity. From seahorses to great white sharks, your students will see everything our oceans have to offer. The animals’ graceful movements and effective lighting make the environment extremely relaxing for visitors. Teachers and students will both thoroughly enjoy a slow stroll through your nearest aquarium.
A planetarium is another impressive science attraction that makes for a good field trip. These places are generally less interactive than other science museums, but since they focus on the nature of the universe, the exhibits are naturally more intense. The planets, stars and galaxies on display bring out humanity’s desire to explore, which makes the experience more profound and almost emotional. Oh yeah, and the laser shows are pretty cool too.
4. Outdoor Education
Outdoor education can mean many things: a hike, a trip to the zoo, collecting samples for your science class, or a simple nature walk. Anything that gets students outdoors and interacting with nature makes for an entertaining field trip. However, the best option that combines all those activities is a wildlife park, which has cool geography and lets its animals roam freely around a wide area. These parks also have interactive exhibits like reptile rooms and petting zoos, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
As students get older and their curriculum becomes more complex, more educational out-of-school activities present themselves, namely activities revolving around the arts. High schoolers are finally at the age where they can keep up with in-depth stories and musical numbers. Here are some artistic field trip ideas for your high school students!
1. Art Museum
Art museums are pretty straightforward compared to science or history museums, as visitors can walk around at their leisure and admire each exhibit for as long as they want. Oftentimes the exhibits are in chronological order to make the experience feel like a passage through time, and most art museums provide audio tours and descriptions of each display. These places offer high school students a near-perfect balance of education and entertainment.
Plays, musicals and other theatrical acts are great field trip ideas for high schoolers, as the students are mature enough to appreciate the practice and skill that goes into each performance. These attractions can also pair well with the students’ curriculum. For example, if they are reading Shakespeare, see if a local theatre is putting on any Shakespearean plays. Your students will have a much easier time understanding the themes, remembering the story and identifying with the characters.
A musical act is another sophisticated and entertaining attraction that high school students will enjoy. Music also teaches important themes about hard work and following your dreams. It’s important for kids to witness adults working together to complete a difficult task while doing something they love, and few things embody that concept better than a band or an orchestra.
Sometimes, your students just deserve an afternoon of good old-fashioned fun. These recreational activities will keep them entertained and encourage them to test their courage and teamwork skills.
1. Sports Game
A sports game is a popular field trip choice for many reasons: it keeps the kids entertained, has easy access to food, water and utilities, and usually only takes the better part of an afternoon. Like a musical performance, it also teaches students the importance of hard work and playing as a team. Just make sure you check the weather forecast and dress accordingly!
2. Amusement Park
Perhaps the most thrilling field trip idea on this list, amusement parks can make for a fun-filled afternoon at a very affordable price. Some students might not like roller coasters, but these parks have all kinds of different rides and attractions for everyone to enjoy. With so much to do, the only real difficulty is keeping everyone together.
3. Rock Climbing Gyms
Rock climbing gyms are indoor recreational areas with artificial rock walls, ziplines and other features that students can enjoy (under proper supervision, of course). These places also have unique team-building activities that require the participants to communicate in order to succeed, so they are both fun and educational. You can also find similar attractions at some state parks and mountain resorts during the warmer months if you’re looking for something outdoors.
High Schoolers Can Have Fun Too
Field trips don’t happen very often past eighth grade, but high school students love to have fun just as much as kindergarteners do. These field trip ideas will give them a break from their rigorous studies and allow them to cut loose for a day, while still learning valuable life skills and lessons. Give them the trip they deserve and try one of these attractions!