The Art Tour of New York City

New York City is such a fantastic city for student travel. It can be viewed in so many different ways. I have found that student travel groups that focus on the academic subject(s) being explored are rewarded with a deeper educational experience.

Over the last 25 years, I’ve been developing educational travel tours for a variety of school age groups. I began to notice a pattern in process. There were many art educators and art students who wanted to take a tour of New York City focused on art. I decided to develop a tour that did just that.

There are literally thousands of venues for visual art in New York City, if we include well-known galleries, public sculpture, and more. For the Educational Travel Consultants Art Tour, I decided to focus on some of the major art museums and add related entertainment.

There are several key areas of the city I chose to cover on the New York City Art tour. Many students are aware that Greenwich Village is the part of New York most inhabited by artists, so I schedule an afternoon in the Village for art tour groups so they may really capture a feel for the contemporary New York City art scene.

The major destinations folded within the art tour are: Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Solomon Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Student groups focused on art or art history are more likely to request some of the bigger names in New York City Museums. As well they should. These museums showcase and collect the work of some of the greatest American artists. Some even collect the work of international artists, and offer glimpses into art history throughout the ages.

For the art student, the chance to see timeless works of art and learn about the history of the artist and the art is often a once in a lifetime opportunity. To help your educational travel group conduct a tour of New York City, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com/destination/subject/art_nyc.htm for additional art tour destinations of interest.

Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.: Educators Can Create Student Travel Trips in Sync with Curriculum Goals

The Smithsonian Museum is vast and cannot be taken in just one day. Student travel tour organizers need to think carefully when planning a trip to the Smithsonian Museum. There are so many options to choose from and educators may benefit from tying the trips to the Museum in with curricular goals.

Nevertheless, there are some Smithsonian Museums that seem to be requested more by educational travel groups. I have highlighted them in a recent article, outlining the educational benefits of different museums. educationaltravelconsultants.com/blog/?p=20.

This article gives a basic overview of selected Smithsonian Museums and also offers suggestions on academic fields of interest, which may tie into visits to specific museums.

To help educators plan their student travel tour of Washington D.C. better, I will point you in the right direction on the World Wide Web, to find great educational resources for the trip.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Visit http://www.nasm.si.edu/education/classroom.cfm for online educational activities that tie in nicely with a visit to the National Air and Space Museum. Classes that are equipped with computers can take educational field trips before they make their visit to Washington D.C. A review of online activities could prove useful in the classroom, and teaching resources will integrate the visit to Washington D.C. into classroom activities.

The National Museum of the American Indian
Native American Code talkers were critical in the U.S. Armed forces during World War I and World War II, because native languages were used as code, and formed a basis for communication. Have students visit the website http://americanindian.si.edu/education/codetalkers/ that makes the history of Native American code talkers come alive.

The National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History has excellent educational resources to help plan student travel tours more effectively. Visit http://www.mnh.si.edu/education/. Students can learn about the Future Female Scientists Program and some of the hands on educational programs at the museum, such as the Discovery Room and the Insect Zoo.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery has a wide range of programs for student groups of various age levels. Some of these educational programs are geared towards special age groups (such as 4th-12th Grade) or are organized thematically, such as American Writers, Great American Women, and Portrait Stories. Visit http://www.npg.si.edu/educate2/educate20.htm
For complete information about all of the educational programs available at the National Portrait Gallery.

Don’t Miss Northern Virginia Historical Points on a Student Tour of Washington D.C.

A well rounded student travel tour of Washington D.C. should also include a day or a half-day dedicated to visiting sites just across the Potomac River in Northern Virginia. For example, the Pentagon, Mount Vernon, and Arlington National Cemetery are some of the sites student tour groups wish to visit. To take in all three would be quite a feat, though it is entirely possible if the right amount of advance planning is involved. But educational student tours of the Washington D.C. area should at least include one, if not two of these historic sites.

Pentagon Tours: Book Early
There are many reasons to plan your trip early. The most pressing reason is that some sites, such as the Pentagon, are under heavy security. Therefore, student groups must be registered for a visit prior to arrival at the Pentagon, to undergo the necessary review for a visit. If student groups are not registered early, then chances that that student travel group will see the Pentagon tour are not good. We are in the early stages of planning these types of student tours for 2008. It is not possible to effectively plan a Pentagon tour for a student tour group for 2007.

Arlington National Cemetery a Popular Student Travel Destination

Arlington National Cemetery is also a great place for students to gain a wide overview of domestic and foreign wars the U.S. has been involved in, and understand the soldiers’ contribution. Tram tours and attendance at Wreath Laying Ceremonies are good possibilities for student travel groups that plan early. The coordination of such tours for a large group is easier with advance planning. A visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is always in order upon a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, and frequently requested.

Visit Mount Vernon for Living History and Active Learning
A student tour of Mount Vernon can also be lots of fun for the group. It offers some respite from the bustling city life of Washington D.C. For a moment in time, students can imagine themselves back in time on an Eighteenth Century farm and gristmill. Or, they can visit the new Ford Orientation Center, or participate in a wide variety of living history programs and tours. A visit to Mount Vernon is well worth the effort of leaving Washington D.C. for the day (or a half-day). Mount Vernon is just 16 miles from Washington D.C.

We do our best to make everyone happy on our educational travel trips, especially the students.

Educational Student Tours of Walt Disney World Promote Active Learning

The Disney YES programs are a student favorite when touring Walt Disney World. I have escorted student tour groups to Walt Disney World with and without participation in Disney YES programs. Students seem to really prefer at least some participation in Disney YES programs, because it gives them great insight into backstage at Disney, how it operates, and the talent that drives the scenery.

Behind the Scenes at Walt Disney World
It’s exciting to tour Epcot Center, and MGM Studios. But to know what kind of imagination, training, tools, and techniques go into work behind the scenes is sometimes even more powerful. While on educational student tour of Walt Disney World, students need more than exposure to the rides and exhibits to gain a greater understanding of the way to work in their chosen profession.

Many types of student groups can benefit from Disney YES programs, which are geared towards a variety of fields.

Educational Travel in Arts and Humanities
Students in Arts and Humanities can learn about the “Magic Behind the Show” or they can delve into the realm of animation magic or learn about American history through “The American Story.” There are lots of options for students on a high school band trip, high school musical tour, or a performance tour of Orlando Florida. High school choirs, orchestras, theater students, and more can benefit from these great behind the scene workshops by Disney.

Disney YES Programs Geared to Science Education Tour Groups
Educational travel to Orlando Florida need not be entertainment only for other types of student groups. It can be filled with wonder and excitement for the student in natural and physical sciences as well. Disney YES programs like “Team Up For Wildlife” teach students sound methods of ecological preservation in marine and wildlife environments. In the field of physical sciences, Disney YES programs such as “How Things Move” and “Energy and Wave” provide tangible examples in the park that illustrate the operation of light, sound, and magnetism. Students learn how scientists manipulate these elements.

Disney YES Programs for the Ecologically Empowered Student
Finally, Disney YES programs contain a component for marine and wildlife sciences students on educational tour. “Keepers of the Kingdom” allows students to interact with some of the animals and their keepers at the Magic Kingdom®. “Making Waves with a Marine Career” gives students on tour guidance in marine science, and insight into real jobs that might be held in the profession.

Whatever your field of academic study, consider a Disney YES program when visiting Orlando Florida. Students will come back with great memories of their trip, and a new perspective on their field of study.

Popular Choices for the Smithsonian Museum for Educational Travel Groups

The Smithsonian Museum is a much-anticipated destination for student tour groups. The problem is, there are so many museums and so many choices for the student travel group, and many groups are only on tour for 3-4 days. Choose a qualified educational travel consultant to help select and schedule a visit to a portion of the Smithsonian Museum that best matches the learning objectives for the educational tour of Washington D.C.

This article will highlight portions of the Smithsonian Museum that are most often requested for visits by student travel groups. It will not cover all of the Smithsonian Museums. To take a closer look at each museum, please visit their website at http://www.si.edu. This article will also point out aspects of each museum that lend themselves to different areas of academic interest.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
The National Museum of the American Indian fosters and protects the culture and societies of native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and Hawaii. Educational travel groups will learn a great deal from these exhibits that highlight, culture, artistic and spiritual beliefs, clothing, lifestyles, and livelihoods of Native peoples from across the continent. Educational travel groups will find both historical and contemporary perspective of the tribes. The NMAI is a community organization that also sponsors national PowWows and other events of interest to Native peoples and friends.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Plants, animals, insects and human life are explored to the fullest at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Student tour groups will be inspired by the diversity of species and cultures represented in this museum’s world class exhibits. Many of the exhibits feature interactive learning opportunities for student travel groups. For example, in the Bug Corner exhibit, visitors are encouraged to hold an insect or feed a tarantula. The Discovery Room also provides an opportunity for hands on learning on a variety of topics. Educational travel groups of all ages are thrilled at the opportunity to explore the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
The United States has always been on the cutting edge in the exploration of space, air travel, and new technology. Student travel groups look forward to their visit to the National Air and Space Museum to view historic artifacts, tour the 22 exhibition galleries, visit the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, and test the flight simulators. Educational travel groups will also want to visit the Albert Einstein Planetarium for one of two daily shows.

National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery reopened to the public in July of 2006 in a newly restored historic building in Washington D.C. The National Portrait Gallery is a great way for student travel groups to embrace the artistic treasures that are contained within American history. The National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. displays portraits of “men and women who have made significant contributions to the history, development and culture of the people of the United States.” The collection of over 20,000 portraits in various media is organized thematically in various exhibitions. Educational travel groups will not want to miss the “American Presidents” gallery, Colonial American portraits, and The American Revolution, singers and patriots.

The Smithsonian Museum is a wonderful treasure that highlights some of the most noteworthy aspects of American history and culture. Schedule a visit to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C that is best suited to student learning objectives and curriculum. To learn more about other student travel destinations in Washington D.C. visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

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A New York City Art Tour Designed for Educational Group Travel

By Howard Clemens

New York City is well known for the number of artists who live and work there, and the quality of the art displayed in museums and galleries. In this article, I will give some details about the highlights of an art tour of New York City designed for students to enhance their curriculum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art are important student tour destinations in New York City. I have written about them elsewhere. Visit the link above, where an article giving more information about these museums is posted.

Educational Benefits of an Art Tour of New York City

The contemplation and analysis of great works of art helps the art student or art history student to better understand the diversity and complexity of art across cultures and time periods. Art students gain insight into technical processes and gather ideas for future work. All students develop an appreciation for high degree of artistry exhibited and housed in museums and galleries in New York City.

Museum of American Illustration

This relatively new museum, opened in 1998, is located at Vernon Court, one of the most famous mansions of the ‘gilded age’ of American architecture. Vernon Court takes up one full block on Bellevue Avenue and the mansion grounds include a garden designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, and revitalized in his honor. The museum houses the largest collection of illustrative art, which is defined as illustration produced for mass media such as books, magazines, advertisements, and new media. Some notable artists in the collection are Maxfield Parrish, N.C. Wyeth, and Norman Rockwell. Educational student tour groups learn a great deal about art, architecture, and the history of illustration on a visit to this museum in New York – a worthwhile destination for an art tour.

Chinatown and Greenwich Village

For enthusiasts of literature and art, a tour of Greenwich Village in New York City is an absolute must. Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, and Emma Thompson all performed here, visited, or lived in the Village. The heart of Greenwich Village is Washington Square Park, which borders New York University, and is always a bustle of performances and activities. Student tour groups will want to see the Centennial Arch, which commemorates the 100th Anniversary of our first president’s inauguration. Educational groups will also want to visit historic homes in Greenwich Village with literary, architectural or historic significance, or maybe take in a meal at one of the Village’s fine restaurants, shop, and most of all: breathe in the air of bohemia.

Whitney Museum of American Art

To give students an overview of 20th Century American Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art is a great place to begin. The Whitney was founded in 1931, and established a name for it based on acquiring the works of new, emerging visual artists. The museum houses over 22,000 works of art in its collection, which is expanding. The Frances Mulhall Achilles Library has more than 37,000 books and exhibition catalogues, and is an excellent place to conduct research on American art. Student travel groups may tour the museum and take in the special exhibits.

Solomon Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheims are perhaps the best known art collectors and philanthropists in the world. Educational tour groups headed to New York City do not want to miss this world class museum. Teachers will find the Arts Curriculum Online to be a great tool to prepare students for a visit to the Solomon Guggenheim Museum. The Solomon Guggenheim Museum does not highlight an era in art, or an aesthetic. The Guggenheim is a museum which grew out of a sophisticated private collection, and spans many periods and tastes in art worldwide.

Educational tour groups with a focus on art can derive a great deal from an art tour of New York City. Because the options for art in New York are so diverse and rewarding, my company, Educational Travel Consultants, decided to create a tour which focused on just that. For more information on the Art Tour, visit http//: www.educationaltravelconsultants.com or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.