Fieldtrips missing from school experience


By Bianca I. Mena

Taking a break from school is always something I look forward to. I remember in elementary school I was constantly taking field trips with my class.  We would go to the zoo and learn about the different animals, and their habitats. In December, we would go to the Museum of Science and Industry to learn about the Christmas trees decorated to represent cultures around the world. I even remember a time when we went to Navy Pier for a boat tour. where I got sea sick. After having gone through the sea sickness, I remember we went into the Imax theater to watch The Polar Express.

Now, as a high school student, I find myself in the same classrooms every day in the duration of the school year. I get lucky if my science class goes outside to the parking lot of my school to test out some experiments. Besides that, I can not seem to escape the walls that I will forever feel like I’m trapped into. I love attending school, but sometimes I would like to take a break from the everyday life that I’m so accustomed to. I would like to go back to my younger years to take those field trips.

Besides having a break from my classes, what I liked about field trips was the real life application that the field trips tried to emphasize. It is always great to learn the concept in the classroom, but I believe that students can also learn from the trips that applied those concepts, and creat a master piece from it. In eighth grade, my class took an overnight trip to Washington D.C. and we learned about World War II, and the Holocaust. When we walked through the Holocaust Museum, it was as if all that I learned about it became real. It was no longer information that I needed for class; they were real life situations that taught everyone the power of discrimination.

In my opinion, it is very unfortunate that most high schools, or maybe it’s just my high school, that don’t use field trips to emphasize what we learn. At Lane, there are a few classes offered where field trips are used to emphasize what we learned. I have already had the opportunity to attend a journalism seminar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my Journalism II class. I learned many new things through different workshops during the seminar.

Later in the school year, my Physics class will take a trip to Six Flags, where we will apply our understanding of kinetics: position, velocity, and acceleration. My statistics class will also have their own field trip to a Cubs baseball game. We will calculate the statistics that go along with the game.

Field trips are what schools need for their students to feel a sense of relaxation, but also to encourage their students to learn during class. I know for a fact that I am looking forward to the field trips later this year; but for now, I will be inside the classroom learning about kinetics, outliers, exponential growth, and decay.