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stem field trips

10 exciting in-person and virtual STEM field trips

Engaging STEM field trips help students link classroom learning to real-world possibilities

STEM field trips are no longer limited to traditional science centers–today’s STEM trips are interactive, engaging, and bring classroom concepts to life for students.

Every student loves a field trip, and with a little planning, it can be mostly fun and low-stress for teachers and chaperones.

One of the best things about a STEM field trip is that it gives students a chance to apply their classroom learning to a real-life situation. This kind of engagement helps students see how professionals use STEM each day, and it also prompts them to consider STEM for their own future.

While in-person field trips are exciting, they’re not always feasible for schools with funding or geographic challenges. In those cases, virtual STEM field trips might be the best option.

We’ve put together a list of in-person and virtual STEM field trips to get you thinking about where your next trip might take your students.

1. Sports games offer a fun and engaging way to challenge students to use STEM concepts they’ve learned in class. Many minor-league baseball teams offer STEM days for students at all grade levels, featuring simple concepts and demonstrations for younger students and more complicated challenges for older students. Check out the nonprofit Science of Sport to get started.

2. If you’re near an iFLY indoor skydiving center, a field trip is a great way to illustrate STEM learning. iFLY’s STEM program uses a vertical wind tunnel to inspire and educate students through an interactive presentation, demos in the wind tunnel, and grade-appropriate lab activities.

3. Roller rinks double as a great throwback to your younger days and as a fun STEM activity, covering topics such as friction, physics, design, and engineering. Here’s an intro from the Roller Skating Association International, and don’t forget to check out your area’s local roller skating rinks.

4. If you want to learn or brush up on some basics, check out this Microsoft Education crash course on using Skype for virtual field trips.

5. EarthEcho features a wide variety of virtual STEM field trips, including topics on water and sustainable futures, how one female biologist forged her career path, and engineering and its contributions to everyday life.

6. Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants hosts 20+ Google Hangout events for classrooms each month. Full day, week-long, and month-long events focus on oceans, biodiversity, women in science, space exploration, and more.

7. Discovery Education’s STEM field trips let students examine the annual polar bear migration on the tundra, investigate real-life STEM professionals and what a day on the job entails, take a peek at a space center, and more.

8. These three science and nature virtual field trips take students across the globe as they tackle climate change, ecotourism, combating desertification, and different ecosystems.

9. With a Navy STEM virtual field trip, students will hear personal stories from service members and learn about how STEM takes these professionals from an F-18 to the flight deck control on an aircraft carrier.

10. Local science centers and science exploration zones shouldn’t be overlooked–many of them have updated their field trip curriculum to be more modern, relevant, and engaging for students.

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Laura Ascione

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