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Learning from home has always been tricky for those who aren’t used to it. The pandemic especially caused students’ grades to drop and left them in at-home learning for extended periods. Many students still haven’t returned to class, especially with outbreaks popping up throughout the nation.
With learning already impeded due to the distractions at home, teachers now must find ways to keep their lessons entertaining while also giving their students the knowledge they need for the future. One such way to keep students engaged in learning is to introduce them to virtual field trips — and luckily, many museums and organizations offer these trips for students free of charge.
For STEM Virtual Field Trips
Some classes may enjoy learning more about technology and mathematics. They might be interested in the stars or planets beyond Earth, or the tech from years past may call to them as they prepare for a future in the field. Even if your students don’t plan to pursue the STEM fields after school, they still might find these virtual field trips interesting to learn from.
While NASA may not have a full-on tour available online, they have plenty of online exhibits to satisfy curious minds. Each pathway takes a visitor to a set of interactive pictures. Every picture has an in-depth description that explains all the steps in a process or teaches kids about the inner workings of the mechanics features in the image. Students will love to learn about space and the devices that carry astronauts into the sky through these fun, self-guided mini-tours.
2. Museo Galileo
Located in Italy, this museum is all about Galileo Galilei, the famous astronomer and scientist. It boasts a collection of old scientific instruments that students can learn from. The online catalog hosts plenty of devices that students can ponder over. Since they’re learning from home, the museum also has a few crafts for younger kids. Science enthusiasts will love the opportunity to see what Galileo himself used, then turn around and complete activities and explain their knowledge on what they’ve learned. It’s the perfect museum for any budding scientist or a fun-loving science class.
3. National Museum of Computing
This England-based museum is the perfect choice for any tech fan in your classroom. It seeks to collect and refurbish old technology that got humanity to where it is today. They have their own self-guided virtual tour, which allows you to see the inside of the museum and all its displays, for visitors across the pond or who cannot make it due to COVID-19. They also offer remote learning packages, an excellent option for any teacher planning an educational virtual field trip for their students.
For Arts and History Virtual Field Trips
Even if none of your students fancies themselves an artist, everyone enjoys looking at art in all its forms. Plenty of art museums display their works online so that people from all over the world can enjoy them. Also, history buffs will love to look into the antiquity of days gone by, learning about the cultures and organisms that lived back then.
1. The Louvre
You may not be able to virtually “walk” through this museum, but it has all of its collection digitized. Students can tour everything from paintings to jewelry to writing. Each piece has detailed information once you click on its page, making it a handy tool for learning about lesser-known works of history. If you’re searching for a fun activity for your students and want them to retain the information, have them pick their favorite pieces of art and report to the class on them.
2. The Van Gogh Museum
Known as one of the most famous artists, Vincent Van Gogh was a prolific painter. Hundreds of his works, including paintings, letters, and drawings, found their home in this museum. While older students might get the most out of these guided exhibits, younger children will find plenty to do, too. They can find guided tours with brightly-colored characters or color printable pages of artwork that look like some of Van Gogh’s most well-known works.
3. Natural History Museum in London
This museum has plenty of tours. Some of its self-guided tours are perfect for all ages, meaning all grade levels can virtually partake in the overseas fun. Students can virtually walk through a dinosaur exhibit or spend time “treasure hunting” for knowledge, such as learning about the local wildlife or observing fun facts about meteorites and precious gems in the vault. Young biologists and earth scientists will appreciate getting to know more about the animals who walked the earth and the rocks that live on to tell the story.
Make the Most of Virtual Field Trips for Kids
No matter which age group you teach, you’re bound to find something to entertain any student. Museums and organizations across the globe seek to spread knowledge to others by opening their knowledge and items to the world. As such, they make great virtual field trips for kids, whether they’re stuck at home during the pandemic or just want to experience something new from their classrooms.