Looking out the window lately you might've noticed some flowers beginning to poke through the dirt or some birds beginning to sing their songs once again, because spring has sprung! The first day of spring was on March 20th, and we are more than ready to feel the warm sunshine on our faces and cool spring breeze on our skin.
More sunshine and new flowers aren't the only thing happening in the spring - for many students springtime also means field trips! Field trips are a great way for students to see what's going on in the world around them and apply what they're learning in the classroom to real-world examples through interactive exhibits and experiences.
Here at PDE, we're pretty partial to local field trips throughout Central PA, and one of our favorite field trips to take is a visit to the Pennsylvania State Capitol! The Capitol has a lot to offer, including views of Harrisburg, meetings with lawmakers, interactive exhibits, and more! While visiting the Capitol, students have the opportunity to learn about more than 300 years of Pennsylvania's history, people, places, and industrial importance. In the welcome center they can interact with exhibit elements that allow them to debate and cast a vote, watch a virtual discussion between legislators, and play floor projection games.
While the Pennsylvania State Capitol is a great place to start when thinking about field trips, Central PA has a rich history and a lot to offer local visitors and visitors from farther away!
The Amish Village in Lancaster gives visitors the opportunity to learn about a culture that's been around for over 300 years. Although geared toward students in kindergarten through sixth grade, students and visitors of all ages can tour an authentic Amish farmhouse and learn about the Amish lifestyle. Who knows, you might even learn more than just facts about Amish culture and life during your visit to Lancaster County, like how to pronounce Lancaster the right way (lank-iss-ter)!
Another great, educational field trip idea is Gettysburg National Military Park in Adams County. The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, and the event that inspired President Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address in 1863. In fact, at the Northern Central Railway students can learn about the history of the railroad and Lincoln's visit to Gettysburg with presentations and themed rides through the spring, summer, and fall. Gettysburg has tons to offer, from museums, to battlefield tours, to reenactments, and more!
If the spring weather has you itching to get outside and learn about plants and animals, Hollabaugh Bros. Inc. is the field trip for you! Hollabaugh Bros. Inc. is a 500-acre farm where students can learn all about agriculture and modern farming. Students can learn about bees and see working beehives up close, or even pick pumpkins and apples in the fall!
Field trips are a great way for students of all ages to get out of the classroom and experience hands-on learning opportunities in their local communities and communities throughout Pennsylvania. Let us know what your favorite field trips are!