Editorial: Field trips make for a richer education

When you think back to elementary and middle school, your most prominent memories are likely those of field trips.  From the Bronx Zoo in third grade to eighth grade trips to Ellis Island, students can vividly remember these trips as highlights of their early years of education.  However, the presence of field trips are noticeably lacking for high school students.

Field trips enrich class discussions and provide a necessary break from constant lectures.  Not only do they allow students to physically interact with their area of study, but they also provide the opportunity for visual learners to expand their understanding of a topic.  For instance, seventh grade students at Weber were able to gain more from their lectures on marine biology after they dissected squids at the Maritime Museum. Being able to actually interact with an animal that was later incorporated into Powerpoints and onto worksheets in class allowed students to fully comprehend the different body parts and why each is necessary for survival.

Reinforcing material learned in the classroom and combining it with external information and experiences has the potential to spark further interest in students.  Exposing students to extensions of subject areas and connecting it to other ones allows them to understand the topic in a broader scope.  These shared experiences on field trips can also provide essential reference points for students and teachers to mention when they learn other topics in class.

However, the cost and organization needed for these advantages to occur is often prioritized over the advantages themselves.  Since arriving at Schreiber, many students have yet to take a field trip due to such restraints.  The administration should put aside more funding for field trips because of the beneficial opportunities that they provide students and teachers combined.

Accounting classes should be able to visit real accountants and discuss what their job entails; United States History students should have access to historical sites right here on Long Island and in New York City, such as the Federal Hall or the United Nations Headquarters; Physics students should be able to analyze different forces in real-world car crashes.  These would all provide invaluable exposure to practical instances of their classroom work applied in real life.  It is evident that field trips offer essential encounters across ages and more should be incorporated into school curricula.