Student Trip to Washington D.C. to Study History

For a year leading up to the student Washington D.C. trip, teacher Michelle Rochel prepares her students for the journey in her classroom. She currently teaches 5th and 6th grade Religion, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade Social Studies and Science. She is also the Middle School Coordinator and Dean of Students at Saint Anne Catholic School in Somerset, Wisconsin.  For the past ten years, Rochel has been taking her students to Washington D.C. where they can learn firsthand about American history.

Student Trip to Washington D.C. Enhances Classroom Studies
“I think this is something every child should experience,” said Rochel. “I am grateful for the opportunity to bring them to Washington D.C. and have them be witnesses to history,” she added.  The trip enhances their studies of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. presidents and the Holocaust, to name just a few aspects of American history covered.

To pay for travel expenses, students and parents engage in fundraising beginning sometimes two years prior to the Washington D.C. trip. “Right now, we are one-fourth of the way towards our fundraising goals,” commented Rochel.

Students View the Holocaust Museum Exhibits
One of the most memorable parts of the trip included a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  When the group visited the Holocaust Museum, “They were speechless,” recalled Rochel.  “In the classroom, we went in depth in our studies of Holocaust victims and survivors. At this museum they could see the human faces that went into these stories. It will be something they never forget.”  The powerful, graphic images of mass extermination of the Jewish people and others Hitler deemed outcasts are a great deal to process.  The interactive exhibits at the museum as well as personal stories gathered from survivors make the information accessible and the experience authentic.

Newseum Well-Loved by Students and Teacher
The student group also visited the Newseum — right in the heart of Washington D.C. This museum is equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia delivery of historical information.  All major media news sources are represented with interactive exhibits. Video, audio, photographic and written information is presented for easy assimilation. Excerpts from interesting and volatile periods in American history are featured.  Rochel said, “All of the kids were able to find something in the Newseum of interest, whether it was sports, world news, current events, or other topics that intrigued them.  There was something for everyone in the Newseum.  I am hoping to include this museum on our next Washington D.C. trip.”

Rochel’s students visited many other places in Washington D.C., including the Smithsonian American and Natural History Museums, the National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol Building, the White House Photo Shop, Mount Vernon, the Air and Space Museum and the National Zoo.  They also attended mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.   This ambitious itinerary was well worth it, especially because some of Rochel’s students have never been on an airplane, or to the East Coast.  “They return with a deeper appreciation and a better understanding of their own history,” said Rochel.

Request a Quote for a student trip to Washington D.C. Or, email an educational travel consultant for more information:  info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

A Band Trip to Los Angeles for Disney Performing Arts Onstage

by Howard Clemens

Band directors and high school musicians and performers will find Disneyland, California an ideal destination to showcase their talents.  Groups can have a public performance on one of Disney’s stages or participate in a parade. Disneyland California also has Youth Programs where students experience backstage life with real Disney performers.  Including this type of workshop on the trip to Disneyland encourages students to hone their artistic skills and talents. Disney Performing Arts Onstage gives student marching bands, orchestras, ensembles, choirs and more a forum for their work.

Learn more about how a marching band trip to Disneyland would be structured to include performances, active learning and touring different theme parks. This sample itinerary includes three days in Disneyland, a trip to see a Major League Baseball game and dinner at the Hard Rock Café.

Disney Performing Arts Onstage

Organizing a student trip around a performance provides a wonderful opportunity for multifaceted learning.  Student performance groups will rehearse for the big day for months preceding the performance, encouraging them to develop discipline and use teamwork to succeed onstage.

There are several options for marching band trips when it comes to performance venues in Disneyland. Marching bands can perform in a parade, on a Disney stage or to an international audience. Disney actually provides programs for instrumental, vocal and dance groups – not just marching bands. The venue selected by the trip leader will reflect the needs of the group.

This band trip is a unique experience for the student musician. In addition to the performance on a Disney stage or marching band route, trip leaders may also opt to select a backstage workshop taught by an actual Disney performer for the group.

Disney’s California Adventure

Located in the heart of Anaheim, California, this Disney theme park presents classic Disney characters and new stars coming alive in a multimedia and interactive setting.  Exhibits include the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, The Little Mermaid and more.   In 2012, Disney’s California Adventure will add characters from the Pixar movie Cars.  Tow Mater, Lightning McQueen and others from the film are part of Cars Land — and so is the Radiator Springs racer ride.  This interactive Disney park is sure to amaze and delight students.

Major League Baseball Game:  Los Angeles Dodgers or Anaheim Angles

Many students have never seen a Major League Baseball game, but would love the opportunity to do so. A trip to California may be the perfect time to  take a group of student musicians out to the ball game. Trip leaders can reserve tickets to either L.A. Dodgers or Anaheim Angels games.  Students can sit back, relax, have a hot dog and watch the professional baseball game with their friends.

Hard Rock Café

Many student groups enjoy visiting the Hard Rock Café while on tour in just about any large city in the U.S.  An evening dinner at the Hard Rock Café on Hollywood Boulevard just might trump a visit to other locations.  Here students can see Jimi Hendrix’s purple, crushed velvet hat, Jim Morrison’s leather pants and more.  Interactive, touch screen displays are in booths throughout the Hard Rock Café and allow the viewer to experience Rock-n-Roll history.

Students who participate in marching bands are used to travel.  Yet a trip to Disneyland for performance infuses the trip with an added dimension of fun.  Students can explore other parks besides Disney’s California Adventure while they visit. This sample itinerary allows three days for students to explore Disneyland, with time to shop, and dine at international cafes, too.

Request a Quote for a high school band trip to Disneyland California.  Or, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com to speak directly to an educational travel specialist.