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“Here is your permission slip. It is due next week. You cannot go on the field trip without turning this in.” These words bring huge responsibility, but huge excitement to every student’s face. Field trips were the highlights of the year for many students in their elementary school years.
However, while field trips in elementary school, and even high school, might seem like excuses to get out of class, they are truly so much more. Field trips offer a different type of learning experience in a new environment with more hands-on opportunities and interesting visuals.
This past October, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School RamPage and RamFeed staff took a field trip to Syracuse University’s S.I. NewHouse School of Public Communications for the annual Empire State School Press Association Conference. At the conference, members attended different seminars that covered different aspects of modern journalism. From written articles to social media and broadcast journalism, staff members learned new tips from professional journalists and media members. Members of the J-DHS yearbook staff, and Rambunctious Literary Magazine staff also attended seminars at the event.
Students in SUNY ESF electives at J-DHS also takes trips to study different streams and the things in them that affect the wildlife around them. “It's a different type of exposure that you don’t get in a normal classroom,” said senior Manish Duggal, who took the class in the 2015-16 school year.
“I think field trips can be very beneficial when planned right,” Kevin Sommer, who teaches the SUNY ESF electives. “It’s about the experience and you always remember the experience,” he said.
The past few years, various J-DHS English classes have taken trips to see Syracuse Stage productions, including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Piano Lesson,” and most recently, “Great Expectations.” In addition, a few years ago, sophomore English classes went to Shoppingtown Mall to watch “Unbroken,” while they were reading the book in class.
“I think they’re great opportunities for kids to see the world beyond the walls of the school and go places that they typically might not be able to go,” said J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini.
“We should have more field trips,” said senior Isabella Buddelman, who attended “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Piano Lesson.” Freshman Gabby O’Hara, who went to see “Great Expectations,” echoed this sentiment, adding that “they’re a good way to get students engaged.”
“Learning isn’t just about academics. It is about the hands-on experiences and having fun with learning,” said senior Adobea Addo, who also attended “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Piano Lesson.”
While Mr. Gasparini believes that J-DHS offers plenty of opportunities for field trip experiences, he said that he is always open to more opportunities. “I love it when teachers come with creative ideas, and we encourage as much interaction with the world as possible.”