Thursday, April 28, 2016

Field Trips-Bringing Life to Lessons

Much has been said about the room being the third teacher in the room. It was never more true than today when our third grade students had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. After spending several weeks learning about forces and motion in the classroom the students had an opportunity to have a hands on approach to just what that means and that experience is invaluable! Watching videos or trying to replicate through experimentation weather, air movement or the force of waves does not allow students to fully experience the affect those forces have in nature.

Imagine the thrill of being up close to a vortex of wind as it quickly forms a tornado right in front of your eyes! The students were able to experience not only that but also learned how lightning forms. The lighting cracked and thundered above our heads as we learned about Nikola Tesla who studied electricity and currents over one hundred years ago. The students were able to relate this back to an experiment that they conducted in the classroom where they used a battery, wires and a variety of conductive materials to help understand electrical currents. 

They not only had fun keeping balls floating in the air, but by adjusting the volume of the air pressure they were able to experience this concept in a different way. By changing the air pressure they could adjust how high up the ball went and by changing the direction of the air flow they could send the balls across the table to a friend perfectly illustrating how both forces and motion were in effect.

The day afforded not only a great learning experience for the students, it was also a chance for students to be exposed to a learning environment that is within driving distance of where they live. Many had not been there before today! Most students indicated their desire to go back again to try another exhibit or spend a longer amount of time challenging themselves to learn more. 

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