Tag Archives: class trips nyc

Student Trips to NYC: Try a a Behind-the-Scenes Workshop About Broadway Acting, Singing and Staging

by Howard Clemens

Theater arts, dance and music students are fascinated with Broadway Theater in New York City. Many take class trips to New York City to experience the theater district, take in a Broadway Musical or two, and eat in New York City restaurants and delicatessens. How many student groups on a NYC tour have also considered a Broadway Workshop? These workshops are designed to enhance acting skills and help students develop a greater understanding of one of the highest and most demanding levels achieved in the acting profession – Broadway acting.

Not too long ago, High School Musical was all the rage for students with acting aspirations. Once it was Wicked and The Lion King, drawing large audiences. Now it is Hamilton that is hot – and tickets hard to obtain. Behind the scenes Broadway Workshops keep up with what is trending on Broadway in some fun and extraordinary ways. The workshops are applicable to theater arts and inspire students to probe deeper into Broadway Musicals. At the same time these learning experiences show the hard and constant daily effort that goes into making sure all parts of the Broadway show work in concert.

Many trip leaders opt for the Broadway Rehearsal or Choir Workshop. The score from the musical the student group will attend is used, making the experience of seeing a Broadway musical more familiar. Students learn about choreography, staging and music from a cast member and a musical director. Choir Workshops focus on learning the vocal score of the musical.

There are other workshops to engage the young actor or actress, including a useful one for every aspiring actor – The Audition Workshop. Then there’s the Improv Workshop, Stage Combat and the Make Up Workshop for students who want to jump right into the action.

For teachers who want student groups to meet real Broadway Actors, Meet the Artist Q & A will be an excellent workshop to do so. Students meet the Broadway actor or actress in a rehearsal studio. Here the group can ask questions about life on Broadway in a private session with the artist, at a show which they may attend later. This is a great way for students to gain insights about life in New York City and the day-to-day demands and scheduling of a Broadway actor or actress.

For the student who already knows how hectic it can be backstage, the Broadway Quick Change workshop may be a great way to learn some tips from the experts. Student tour groups will see how the professionals change costumes quickly and effortlessly. A real Broadway actor will demonstrate a quick change and students will be invited to try it. Students will learn the importance of this skill for the acting profession – where space is often tight and several actors must change in a short period.

As mentioned earlier, Hamilton is now the hit Broadway Musical most theater art students will be familiar with already. The star of the show is loosely based on the historical Alexander Hamilton, a Cuban orphan who came to New York City penniless and emerged as a top writer and revolutionary of his day. The story is told in hip-hop style so students can relate if this is their preference in music. Trip leaders can either select a Hamilton Meet the Artist workshop, where students meet a real actor in his or her rehearsal studio, or the Hamilton Dance workshop, where students are introduced to the choreography behind Hamilton.

As a whole, participating in one or several Broadway Workshops is an active learning experience students will remember for some time. For more information on booking class trip to New York City that includes a Broadway Musical and participating in a workshop, Request a quote.

Student Travel to New York City Includes a Look at a Diverse Immigrant History at Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum is a great place to visit to understand 19th Century immigrant lifesytles.
The Tenement Museum is a great place to visit to understand 19th Century immigrant lifesytles.

by Howard Clemens

Located near Chinatown in Lower Manhattan at 103 Orchard Street, the Tenement Museum is one of the most important museums chronicling the extensive history of American immigration in the past two centuries. There are restored apartments with detailed histories of the people who left their homes and families to live and work in this new and hopeful and often unpleasant new country. There are also many walking tours and themed exhibitions, making this the most in-depth museum of its kind.

A Time Capsule in Lower Manhattan?
While many Americans reluctantly recognize a new wave of anti-immigrant fervor, it is the perfect time to educate students about the historical trials of the millions who made their way to the United States for a better life. One of the best places for a closer examination of this history is New York’s Tenement Museum, founded by historian and social activist Ruth Abram. It was almost an accident that Abram and her cofounder Anita Jacobsen found their perfect location for the museum when inspecting the storefront property on Orchard Street. Cracking a door to a backroom was all it took for them to discover that the entire building was former tenement housing sealed from the public for more than half a century, the perfect time capsule.

Since then the site has become a national trust for historic preservation. Extensive and meticulous research has revealed details about the many mid-19th Century immigrant lives at the Orchard Street address. Over the past twenty years museum staff have restored half a dozen apartments, most recently the home of Irish immigrants, The Moores, who lived in the building in 1869. Students and teachers alike will learn while enjoying the restored tenement building for a complete time travel experience.

Museum Workshops Train Teachers in Diversity Learning
Educators can attend workshops at the museum that are specifically designed for them on building classroom curriculum about the historic aspects of early immigrants. The workshops include details on basic survival skills of the early immigrants. This included learning to buy and sell goods in the neighborhood. Outdoor markets, corner stores, bakeries, meats and dry goods stores shaped the overarching definition of what it means to live in an American city in an immigrant neighborhood.

Teachers will participate in discussions on individual immigrant histories and how families preserved their traditions to enrich the ever-changing cultural history of the United States. Sadly, part of this story involves a hard look at discrimination. The details of discriminatory hiring, housing and social practices against early immigrants can pave the way for a more complete and empathetic understanding of the difficulties in their lives. Large groups of people from various countries and backgrounds came to the United States for different reasons. One of the major reasons was to improve their situations by making better livelihoods – for themselves and their children. The U.S. offered this by being the ‘land of opportunity.’

Educators Learn About Immigrant Life in 19th Century NYC
A key component to the workshops looks at industry and how immigrants were used as cheap labor for factories. The kinds of work and the on-the-job dangers experienced are an important part of this discussion. Ultimately, immigrant communities would create unionization of workers to combat abusive practices of factory owners. The struggles of the new Americans helped shape the idea of fighting for control over the well-being and rights of every working person. These early immigrant workers made marks upon our nation that continue to be a point of contention for industry, workers and leading politicians.

Tenement Building and Walking Tours for Student Tour Groups
Many different experts have come together to uncover the history of the Orchard Street apartments. Wallpaper conservators, paint specialists and urban archeologists have combed the building to piece together stories that have implications in understanding family life and legislation of landlords.

The building tours have various themes. The “Shop Life” tour examines the many family owned businesses that grew out of different immigrant communities from butchers to undergarment discount stores. The “Sweatshop Workers” tour takes a look at the garment industry and the “Irish Outsiders” tour focuses on the Moores, a family faced with prejudice as they prepare for the historic St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Walking tours also have various themes, like “Tasting the Tenement,” a tour of the food in the surrounding neighborhood, from bagel shops to falafel cafes which remain an important part of the history of immigrants. There is also the “Tenements Talks” which are an ongoing series of discussions by writers and artists about their lives connecting to earlier immigrants. Upcoming talks by Laurie Anderson and others can be found on the museum website in the events listings.
Extending the Student Learning Experience
The museum offers activities on learning with objects and primary sources as well as lessons in oral history. There are also English as a Second Language (ESL) programs available. The Tenement Museum is situated in the heart of Lower Manhattan. It is a very quick walk to Chinatown, and New York City offers one of the busiest and most delicious Chinatown experiences in the nation. The Tenement Museum is a complete experience for students and teachers alike, and the surrounding neighborhood helps enrich the time spent there.

For more information on scheduling a student trip to New York City with the Tenement Museum on the itinerary, Request a Quote.

A Popular Broadway Musical Choice for Student Travel Groups is Hamilton and Other Shows

The 2016-2017 Broadway season is promising and filled with some popular choices in musicals for student travel groups. The Lion King and Wicked continue to make long-term runs on Broadway. These Broadway Shows are an excellent choice for student travel groups – because they accommodate groups in larger numbers. Each musical is presented in high Broadway style with video and audio sound effects and exceptional costuming, music and dance. A student trip to NYC is not complete without a trip to Broadway to take in a show.

For some students, perhaps the musical Frozen, due out in 2018, will be their first choice for a Broadway show in the near future. For now, audiences will have to wait for the production to come together.

The newest, hottest ticket on Broadway is Hamilton. This Broadway show won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Broadway Theater Album. As Hamilton’s popularity surges, so will ticket sales in the future. Be sure to arrange tickets far in advance with the help of a student travel company.

Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant and now he is an important part of Early American Revolutionary War studies. For history and social studies teachers, Hamilton promises to be a great boon to classroom studies and fun to attend as well. Taken from the 2004 biography by the same name as the musical, the book by Ron Chernow is a close look at Alexander Hamilton’s life. The musical traces this immigrant’s rise to fame as the youngest signer of The Declaration of Independence. Hamilton’s writings and ambition are what brought him to the inner circle of founding fathers. At the age of 22 Hamilton was the Aide de Camp of General George Washington, and by 34, he was the country’s first Secretary of the Treasury.

The composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has taken an unusual approach to this Off-Broadway musical, now the hottest ticket on Broadway.

Lin-Manuel Miranda also plays Hamilton and has based his life on the biography of Hamilton, but has given him the songs and dreams of a hip-hop star. Because Hamilton came from the Caribbean and was abandoned by his father, he had much insecurity about his birthright and his lower station in life. Hamilton is portrayed as a man who tended to overcompensate in dress and speech yet was eloquent enough to be successful.

One thing is for certain, the comparison to hip hop culture and speech will not be lost on high school students visiting Broadway for the first time. Hamilton’s costume is designed for the era in which he lived, with a flamboyant nod to Early American attire and styles. The musical is composed of songs that are a bold mixture of hip-hop, R & B and even 1970s pop. It’s a great example of a montage of American styles mixed into musical composition. Hamilton is truly a Broadway show student travel groups can get excited about.

Hamilton’s untimely death in a duel with his lifelong nemesis, Aaron Burr, came about in 1804. Perhaps this is another comparison to hip-hop culture – dying young yet courageously of a fatal gunshot wound from an enemy.

There are other great musicals for student travel groups to select from on Broadway, such as Beautiful, the Carole King Musical about the 1970s singer/songwriter star. Or groups may want to check out Holiday Inn, an Irving Berlin musical production that closes in the fall of 2016.

Student travel groups are sure to be amazed and dazzled by any of these professional theater productions.

Whatever the choice for Broadway musical, teachers and trip leaders will need assistance from a qualified student travel company in reserving and purchasing the correct number of seats for the desired production. To learn more about scheduling a student trip to New York City and Broadway, Request a Quote or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall: a Blended Learning Experience for Student Travel Groups

carnegie hall outside
Carnegie Hall

by Howard Clemens

For many ambitious music and performance students, a class trip to New York City is the holy grail of rhythm. From jazz to classical to pop to Broadway Musicals, a student trip to New York City continues to be a premiere destination for student travel groups.

There are literally hundreds of musical landmarks and hotspots in the city to choose from, so deciding where to start can often be a music teacher’s biggest challenge. However, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, in particular, can offer students the kind of up-close and personal “blended learning” experience they aren’t likely to forget. After all, studying contemporary music—and musical history—is one thing, but actually traveling to legendary musical destinations is a complementary learning experience that has the potential to excite and engage students even more than classroom studies.

For many aspiring musicians and performers, a gig at either Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall is perceived as the apex of one’s career. Following are some facts that students can learn online about these two major venues in New York City.

Student Tours of Lincoln Center
Constructed in the 1950s and 1960s as part of a massive community renewal project, Lincoln Center houses some of the nation’s most famous musical landmarks, including the Metropolitan Opera House—home of the Metropolitan Opera—and the internationally renowned Julliard School. The school offers campus tours so make sure to have an educational travel company arrange one for a student group prior to visiting.

Lincoln Center is also known for a popular Meet the Artist School Series, a guided student tour that guarantees students VIP access to Lincoln Center landmarks and special performances not open to the public. A student travel company can pre-arrange all of this well in advance, ensuring music students touring New York City have an eye opening experience when they tour this legendary venue.

Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center

To fully understand the immensity and significance of Lincoln Center as well as the work that artists perform behind the scenes, students can prepare for their journey by viewing YouTube performances of Lincoln Center concerts and/or taking virtual tours of Lincoln Center on the Web. These types of preliminary activities are sure to provide a valuable historical context and amp up pre-tour excitement for the student group.

Carnegie Hall
For almost 130 years now, Carnegie Hall has been one of the world’s most beloved classical and popular music venues. Indeed, well known musicians from George Gershwin to Louis Armstrong to Judy Garland to Led Zeppelin and the Beatles have played here. Whether a student wants to be a classical violinist or a rock-n-roll star, Carnegie Hall is a pilgrimage worth making. The Hall is also known for its extensive on-site educational resources: its Resnick Education Wing is impressive. It has 24 brand new spaces that are designed for students and music educators. The Weill Music Institute offers the kind of interactive, hands-on learning experiences that are bound to inspire music students —and galvanize them into dreams of a great future.

Weil Music Room in Carnegie Hall
Weill Music Room in Carnegie Hall

Post Trip Blended Learning Experience in Conjunction with Carnegie Hall
Even after a student tour of New York City is over, the learning experience may still continue. Students can join Carnegie Hall’s Musical Exchange Program, an online community where students and young musicians can share performances, participate in virtual workshops, and network with each other. The Exchange program can be a great supplementary classroom learning experience that is ongoing. It also serves the dual purpose of opening possible doors for students who are serious about a musical career – which makes it a wonderful and potentially invaluable resource.

Online Sharing, Chatting and Documentary Work About the Class Trip to NYC
In the same spirit, teachers can encourage students to share their observations post trip with each other in school-facilitated chat rooms. Students can also film and photograph their group’s tour, and have them collaborate in making a mini-documentary about their New York City experience. Some music educators may want students to try their hands at their own musical compositions, which they can then share on the Carnegie Hall Music Exchange or on their YouTube page. All of these experiences will stimulate creative minds to collaborate and share.

In short, when it comes to blended learning—especially in music, which is interactive by nature—the sky is the limit. At Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, students can really get a sense of just how exciting a career in music can actually be.

To learn more about scheduling a class trip to New York City that includes an inside look at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or visit: http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Helpful Links for Music Educators:
http://www.carnegiehall.org/Education/Musical-Exchange-Online-Community/
http://www.aboutlincolncenter.org/education-community/lincoln-center-education/meet-the-artist/meet-the-artist

Blended Learning About September 11th, 2001

By Howard Clemens

Visiting New York City for the first time is an exciting experience for student tour groups. Many students of junior high and high school age were quite young when 911 occurred. Pennsylvania and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. also suffered casualties that day in separate strikes. Now it’s time for them to study the historical date and events that unfolded that day in the place that was the center of the world’s attention: New York City. On this hallowed ground in Manhattan, also known as Ground Zero, a rebirth of hope and prosperity has taken place during the intermittent years.

Before journeying to New York City, history and social studies teachers can prepare students with online lessons about 911. The websites for the National September 11th Memorial and Museum and the new One World Trade Center are a great place to start. Teachers may also ask students to research magazine and newspaper articles and television news clips of that time period- and present their findings to the class to share.

Ground Zero has changed immensely since 911. It took a long span of time to remove the rubble from the site of the former Twin Towers. The rescue workers and those who carried the rubble away were sensitive enough to keep some mementos of the building and the towers to memorialize the day and better explain the events to those who were not there.

New World Trade Center
One World Trade Center opened to the public in 2015. The project spanned many years in fundraising, planning and construction. One World Trade Center incorporates the materials and concepts of contemporary architecture and design. Best of all, the newly opened One World Trade Center’s 100th floor is designed as the main observatory. Students will love the glass elevator and the commanding view of New York City and New Jersey from the 100th floor. Groups who visit may step into the interactive Sky Portal, which offers remote real time street viewing of the neighborhood below. After finishing the tour, students may visit the gallery to purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

National September 11th Memorial and Museum
Also known as the 911 Memorial and Museum, this site was developed prior to the opening of One World Trade Center, and has been on most student travel itineraries since its opening in May 2014. At the Museum, students will see the actual bedrock of the original World Trade Center and relics of the towers – such as the twisted piece of “impact steel.” Student tour groups will learn more about first responders and victims of the catastrophe on September 11th and examine some of the personal items left behind such as: shoes, glasses or a United Airlines lapel. Fragments of lives lost and stories about first responders heroism make the 911 Museum a must see for students.

The Memorial is arranged to celebrate each victim lost on 911 and on February 26, 1993, when the World Trade Center was bombed for the first time. The name of each person who died in these terrorist attacks is inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools. There is also a survivor tree, and a memorial exhibition made up of contributions from families and loved ones.

Post NYC Student Trip Chat Room
Teachers who want to create a true blended learning experience of the trip will want to start either a page on Twitter.com for sharing thoughts and photos during and after the school trip to New York City or a private room where the class may post such materials and thoughts. This activity will allow students to engage their thoughts and share videos and photos post trip – a vital part of any active learning experience.

New York City is a premiere destination for student travel. To learn more about a trip to NYC that incorporates a visit to the national 911 Museum, email: info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote.

University of Tampa College Students Take Theater, Dance and Cultural Tour in New York City

by Howard Clemens

As Liza Minnelli once sang in the Broadway Musical Cabaret “Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum/Come to the Cabaret.” The New York City Broadway Musical is the place where a serious actor, dancer, singer or musician arrives in his or her respective profession. The Broadway Musical, like jazz, is uniquely American. Successful Broadway shows and their creators are respected as the top talent in their profession across the globe.

The Broadway musical is a form of art that takes a multi-talented ‘village’ of people to produce. At the core of this is the acting and singing, as well as staging and costuming. With all of the power of modern technology and imagination Broadway musicals have become even more glamorous then in days past. The sheer spectacle and unbelievable energy of a Broadway show is the reason many want to attend.

Yet for a college student, a trip to New York City may be financially beyond their means – or perhaps they would not see the importance of arranging such a journey.

So, Paul Finocchiaro, Assistant Professor of Speech, Theater and Dance for the University of Tampa, brings his students to New York City whenever he can. They attend several Broadway Musicals and expand their life experiences at the same time. “This helps them to decide at a young age if going to New York City is even for them,” says Finocchiaro. “Some students will go to New York City, while their classmates will go to other cities to pursue their careers,” he added. Orlando is a great city for theater and dance and it’s right in the heart of Florida.

Yet when any theater and dance student reflects upon the trip to New York City, it will be a special memory. Many will attend Broadway Musical(s) for the first time. “On our Trip we saw three different musicals,” said Finocchiaro. “I had the opportunity to talk about how each had a different vibe, style, approach and story line.” The trip further enhances “the variety of subjects being taught on a semester by semester basis,” said Finocchiaro.

Plus the student group interacted with diverse ethnicities and cultures while traveling in and around New York City. Finocchiaro observed, “These students need to see everyday life: neighborhoods, good areas, bad areas, dance classes and all of the offerings of a major East Coast city.”

Speaking of dance classes, students loved the dance class their professor and the student travel company arranged for them to attend. “They were so impressed that the dance captain from Wicked taught it,” said Finocchiaro. “Even the acting major loved it. The talk back at the end was SO beneficial. And of course, they loved being invited to the stage door after the performances. “

For some students, a treasured remembrance may be a chance to visit the most famous sites in America, such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and the 911 Museum and Memorial. These sites can also be included on an itinerary, but for theater and dance students, visits to these sites may or may not be a priority.

One night, the University of Tampa students even visited a cabaret. The student group visited the Iridium Jazz Club. “We saw a different kind of cabaret,” said Finocchiaro.  “The students really enjoyed it, and the food at the Iridium Jazz Club is REALLY GOOD!  That was unexpected,” he added.

At home in Tampa, Florida, Finocchiaro says one of his favorite things to do is walk. “There is the longest continuous sidewalk in America here,” he says, “It’s 7 miles. One side is Tampa Bay and on the other are multi-million dollar homes. This walk is breathtaking every time I do it.” Known by his students as Fino, he also says he’s a fabulous baker and he LOVES landscaping.

To learn more about dance and theater tours of New York City, visit: http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

An Art Focused Student Trip to New York City

By Howard Clemens

Desmond Cormier is an art teacher at the Buford Middle School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has taught at the school for 16 years. Cormier lives at a nearby farmstead with his wife, Virginia, a sheep farmer. He became an educator after many years in an entirely different profession. “My first career was a commercial deep sea diver and I was also involved in the offshore drilling industry for 17 years,” says Cormier. Thanks to the demands of his first profession, he has traveled all over the world.

Now Cormier believes his art students should gain exposure to the world through travel at an early age. Each year, Cormier organizes a student trip to New York City and invites students to take a deeper look at ‘the city that never sleeps.’

“When I was young, I toured all over the world,” says Cormier, “I think it’s a valuable experience to bring these students to New York City and let them see the world through their own eyes,” he added. Basically, Cormier attempts to schedule a class trip to New York City for those interested in taking a long weekend. Student trips to New York City took place in 2013 & 2014. In 2015, Cormier says he couldn’t get the number of students needed to travel, yet he’s planning to travel again with his students over the long term.

While on tour of New York City, students visit world famous art museums, such as the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cormier says this is an excellent opportunity to take in some masterpieces. “Students see these famous works of art in real life. These artistic treasures are totally different in a museum, in their original form,” he observed.

Touring such large museums may be a daunting endeavor for a teacher and his class. Cormier says “The Metropolitan Museum of Art was overwhelming and MOMA is such large museum it is hard to take it all in.” However, the Guggenheim Museum’s set-up is perfect, because, students have to go from the top down to the bottom. “The way the museum is designed, they have to see the entire collection and exhibitions,” commented Cormier.

In addition to touring art museums as a complement to their studies, students also immerse themselves in the New York City experience. Here there are exposed to the diversity of the U.S. population, by visiting immigrant neighborhoods, and experiencing a lively artistic culture as well as global cuisine choices. “We had dinner in Times Square and the kids loved the excitement of it all. It was Saturday night,” said Cormier. The student group also visited Chinatown, toured the New York Harbor, and saw the Empire State Building, among other sites.

After touring the world, Cormier eventually returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, because it’s home to him. “My wife loves sheep farming. I love Charlottesville, because I am an alumni of University of Virginia and it’s my hometown.” His daughter lives in Charlottesville with his three grandchildren and Cormier also has a son in San Francisco. His views about becoming a well-rounded artist include the incorporation of travel, consideration of great artistic works, and exposure to different cultures, cuisines, architecture and social customs.

Learn more about art tours of New York City.

Visiting the New 911 Memorial and Museum In New York City

Building a memorial to commemorate 3,000 lives lost on 911 was no small enterprise, but architects Michael Ara, Daniel Libeskind, and Peter Walker have constructed a fitting tribute.  May 21, 2014 is the first day the 911 Memorial is open to the public. Student travel groups heading to New York City can now walk freely among the memorials and grounds where the World Trade Towers once stood.

student travel nyc
The 911 Memorial will be open to the public May 21, 2014.

The memorial has twin reflecting pools, each an acre in size, centered by the largest manmade waterfalls in all of North America.  The names of all the victims of the 2001 and 1993 World Trade Center attacks are inscribed into bronze along the lip of the memorial pools.  This large undertaking is meant as a reminder of the largest loss of life from a foreign invasion in United States history.  More than 400 trees were chosen and planted to convey a sense of physical regrowth and spiritual renewal at the site.

All three award-winning architects are well known for their work on skyscrapers in Hong Kong, and parks and museums in Australia and the United States.  Their most haunting achievement is the placements of names for the 911 Memorial, which are bronze stenciling hovering over the water.  This is designed so paper can be pressed against a name for visitors as well as family and friends of the victims to make their own memorial rubbings.  At night,  light shines up through each name, a powerful reminder of those who were lost.

In May 2014, there was a six-day dedication period before the 911 Memorial was opened to the public. During this period it was only accessible to family and friends of the victims of 911 as well as the many rescue and recovery workers.  New York’s interviewed 911 Memorial Museum president Joe Daniels, who said, “It will be a tremendous privilege to walk the completed 911 Memorial Museum for the first time with those who are a part of this defining period of our nation’s history.”

When planning a student trip to New York City, trip leaders may want to consider booking a guided tour of the memorial.  Memorial tours are walking tours provided by 911 survivors, recovery workers, lower Manhattan business owners and residents.  Sometimes, 911 Memorial tours are even given by the victims’ family members.  The personal stories mix with world news in a way that is a completely unique experience when students experience a guided tour of the memorial site.

When visiting the 911 Memorial and Museum website you can view EarthCam webcams of the site.  This is the perfect way to engage students ahead of time.  In the museum you will have the opportunity to explore the topic with interactive digital displays of the 911 timeline.  There is a separate page on the Memorial website specifically for teachers to prepare lesson plans, including foundational lessons, as well as a breakdown for different age groups.  You can see these at this link: https://www.911memorial.org/lesson-plans.  There are also teaching guides at this site, as well as tips on talking to children about 911 and webcasts for classroom visits and lessons.

While visiting the 911 Memorial, President Obama remarked, “That’s beautiful.”  The New York Times said former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani would be the best person to take part in the opening ceremonies. So Giuliani was asked to introduce speakers that would include families of victims as well as many others who contributed to the project – such as the ground zero ironworker who built a Star of David from part of the wreckage.

Few class trips will have students’ minds more captivated and interested than a visit to the 911 Memorial and Museum.  It is strongly suggested that student tours to the museum (and 911 Memorial) are booked well in advance to reserve space and to schedule a walking tour.  Tours will cover the exact grounds where history was made and have forever changed aspects of daily living in the United States and globally.

Student Travel to NYC: Ellis Island Reopens

One of the most popular and most visited national monuments in the United States, Ellis Island, is now partially reopened after receiving devastating blows from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Preparing Students for a Trip to New York City to See The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Prior to a class trip to New York City, teachers often encourage students to spend time in the classroom viewing the Statue of Liberty’s various webcams. There is the Crown Cam, the Torch Cam, and even a full panorama live streaming cam.  In 1916 access to the torch was restricted, making these webcams the first ever completely unobstructed view of the New York harbor in generations.

Webcams are a great way to familiarize students, but taking a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is a once in a lifetime adventure for many who have never visited NYC or this historic site before.

Thousands of people are back to visiting the State of Liberty again each day after interruptions from damage by Hurricane Sandy, and the Federal Government shutdown in October 2013.   Did you know Lady Liberty’s face (not including the crown) is eight feet high?  This 225-ton statue was a gift to the United States from France in 1886 to commemorate the important friendship between the two nations during the American Revolution.  The statue was 350 pieces that had to be shipped to New York harbor then reassembled, a giant metal puzzle representing the brave fight for liberty.  The famous Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus” from the voice of the statue ends with the remarkable reminder, “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

An incredible, breathtaking journey awaits all students who visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Over twelve million weary, overwrought human beings passed through Ellis Island between the years 1892 and 1954.  More than half a century of immigration occurred in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, first designated as a check in point by president Benjamin Harrison.  The Native American’s called Ellis Island Kioshk, or Gull Island because of the abundant oyster beds the birds would feed on.

Many history and social studies teachers know that one of the most important places in the United States to visit for a significant historical and cultural reference is Ellis Island.  Students can learn more about immigration to the United States during the years of growth and even investigate their own ancestry – provided they come prepared with information.

The American Immigrant Wall of Honor on the Ellis Island tour is astounding and has the effect of connecting many to their history as immigrants. The wall overlooks the Statue of Liberty and is the longest wall of names in the world, and you can join fourth and fifth generation Americans pouring over the wall looking for long lost relatives from Ireland, Italy, Germany, and other countries.

The People of America Center is the newest expansion of Ellis Island’s historic landmark built to preserve the countless stories of the families who came to make this one of the greatest nations on Earth.  The exhibits are interactive and engaging, with stories ranging from the pre-Colonial immigration patterns to the great potato famine of Ireland.

The Flag of Faces exhibit is one of the most popular interactive displays at Ellis Island to date.  Individual American faces set into the mosaics of red, white, and blue to make the American flag.  You too can have your face and the faces of your family included in this project while it is still in process.  Ask about this opportunity when visiting, or check out the Ellis Island Foundation website for additional details.  You want to make sure to stop and spend some time with the Flag of Faces exhibit when on tour at Ellis Island.

The American Family Immigration History Center is one of the true highlights of any tour to Ellis Island.  This engaging interactive exhibit allows visitors to access immigrant boat passenger records of more than 22 million people.  When visiting students should come prepared by bringing the full name of an ancestor, their ethnicity, and approximate landing time in the Port of New York or Ellis Island. Chances are good these inquiries will result in seeing actual data on the first day the first member of a family stepped foot on American soil.  There are also photos of ships and manifest records to be viewed, as featured on The Today Show on broadcast television.

Student trip leaders may now plan trips that incorporate a visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Now is the time to start going back to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, since many repairs have been made. The entire facility is not yet ready for the complete tour.  Expect renovations on the rest of Ellis Island to be underway during 2013 and 2014 – until complete.

For more information on booking a student travel group on a tour of New York City that includes a visit to Ellis Island and other destinations, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Captures the Glory of Naval and Aircraft History in New York City

A museum which claims to cover air, sea, and space must have something impressive to offer student tour groups, and the Intrepid Museum in New York City delivers. The Intrepid Museum opened in 1982, but just renovated exhibits and re-opened in November 2008. Keeping with the interactive theme of other new museums such as the Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington D.C., and the Newseum, this New York City museum offers the visitor an interactive learning experience. Touring a decommissioned aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine in a museum where pictures, audio and video clips tell the stories is a great way to learn on student trips focused on Social Studies, U. S. history, and more.

A Brief History of the Intrepid
Commissioned during the height of World War II in 1943, the Intrepid, a floating aircraft carrier, is now a museum. Though the Intrepid is permanently docked in New York City it was once in Vietnam and traveled the waters of the north during the Cold War. At one time, the crew and ship recovered space shuttles for NASA. This varied history intrigues student tour groups and invites them to consider the long-range impact any naval vessel can have upon history.

What to Expect on Tour of the Intrepid
Heroism, education and excitement all color a visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The Museum features a range of interactive exhibits and events providing students a range of activities. Thrilling historical re-creations such as Kamikaze: Day of Darkness, Day of Light, is dramatic and powerfully presented with the latest in video and audio technology. Visitors may ride in the A-6 Cockpit Simulator, visit the Virtual Flight Zone, and tour the inside of the world??s fastest commercial airplane, the Concorde. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum provides a powerful student tour experience fed by a dynamic, innovative and moving environment for learning and enjoyment.

In addition to the aircraft carrier, the Intrepid Museum also houses the submarine USS Growler. An historic vessel, it is the only intact strategic diesel-powered submarine capable of nuclear missile firepower open to the public anywhere in the world. Since the chance to tour an actual decommissioned nuclear submarine is rare — student travelers will surely remember it.

Students also have a chance to learn about the Intrepid as a machine. The technology of the aircrafts that flew from her deck is explored in the museum. Student tour groups will be able to comprehend the inner workings of the naval vessel that supported over 3,000 American lives while at sea. Students will also come to know the Intrepid as a community of people, committed to protecting the United States. The crew, their lives as sailors, and the remarkable bonds they forged are explored in narratives captured in a variety of media.

The Michael Tyler Fisher Center for Education
“Stop, think, and do” are the objectives of the educational programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Problem solving and critical thinking skills are put into play with active learning exercises tied to the exhibits. Students derive a true educational experience from the trip to the Intrepid because the programs are structured with various grade level requirements in mind. Teachers may even obtain lesson plans and teacher training from Intrepid Museum Educators. Participation in the Museum??s teacher programs is a great opportunity to prepare curriculum tie-ins before and after the student trip to New York City.

After a visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, students, teachers and chaperones will gain insight into the level of sophistication of the U.S. air and naval defense systems ? even dating to World War II.

Learn about history by listening to the narratives of the members of the armed forces who partook in it and the artifacts they left behind. Put a trip to the Intrepid Museum on a student tour itinerary for New York City.

For more information of a tour of the Intrepid, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or take a minute to fill out the Request a Quote inquiry.