Tag Archives: dc school trips

Washington D.C. and Williamsburg Virginia: A Time to Tour

There’s never been a better time to sign up for a combination tour of Washington D.C., Williamsburg and Jamestown.

Washington D.C. is a great learning experience for student tour groups because students get to observe our government in action. Student travel groups can also stop at historical points of interest such as Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and the Pentagon, for even more insight into U.S. history.

Just a mere 2 hours south of the Washington D.C. metro area, Williamsburg Virginia awaits. A visit to Williamsburg and Jamestown helps students to envision the settlement of the colonies hundreds of years earlier.

This year, Jamestown celebrates its 400th Anniversary of the English settlement, in 1607. Jamestown’s 400th anniversary is characterized by numerous keynote events, and is being celebrated throughout the Southeastern Virginia area even outside of Williamsburg and Jamestown.

But the most exciting development for student tour groups in 2007 is the enhancement of exhibits at Jamestown Settlement and at Colonial Williamsburg.

In preparation for the anniversary celebration, Jamestown Settlement underwent renovations and large additions were made to the new visiting center. This new state-of-the-art visitor center has interactive exhibits for the active student learner. Students may visit a replica of an Indian village, and board the three ships that took the English to Virginia: the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery. Inside the museum, real documents and artifacts surrounding the settlement of Virginia are on display.

Colonial Williamsburg has always excelled at presenting living history programs that appeal to the student traveler. Depictions of the heyday of Virginia’s second capital, Williamsburg, include narratives developed from historical documents that include the perspectives of women, slaves, Native Americans, criminals, and more.

Find out how your travel group may schedule a tour of Washington D.C., Williamsburg and Jamestown. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com and an educational travel professional will get right back to you.

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.

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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Historic Sites in Northern Virginia for Student Travel Tours to Washington D.C.

By Howard Clemens

Often when student travel groups decide upon Washington D.C. as their destination, the tour leaders have specific sites in mind for a visit. Many of the sites that student travel groups request the most are just outside Washington D.C., in Northern Virginia. In order to include these historic sites in a student travel tour, advanced planning is required. Usually, I advise educational travel groups to plan one year ahead for trips to the Washington D.C. area. Depending upon the site visited, special advance procedures to clear student visitors may be required.

An educational travel company needs to be retained to plan and execute an effective itinerary for Washington D.C. If popular historic or governmental sites in Northern Virginia are requested, the itinerary will accommodate these sites on one special day, or combine them effectively with other destinations on the student tour.

Here is an overview of some of the popular Northern Virginia sites for educational travel groups:

Pentagon Tour

The Pentagon is located just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. in Arlington, Virginia. Many student travel groups are eager to see the headquarters for high-ranking officers of the U.S. Military and their aides. Because the Pentagon was attacked on September 11th, and it houses critical military personnel, it is a sensitive site. Despite the challenges to security, the U.S. government still provides student travel tours led by a uniformed and trained member of the U.S. Military. This tour has been provided to the public since 1976, when it was first initiated in celebration of our nation’s 200th anniversary. With proper advance notification, an educational travel group may schedule a one-hour tour of the Pentagon that includes about one and one half miles of walking through Pentagon corridors and grounds and a view of the highlights.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is another historic site that fascinates and intrigues educational tour groups. Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated as a military cemetery on June 15th 1854. Veterans from all of the wars, both foreign and domestic, are buried here and the gravesites number around 300,000. The National Park Service administers Arlington House and its immediate grounds. The U.S. Army oversees Arlington National Cemetery and Soldier’s Home National Cemetery. Educational travel groups touring Arlington National Cemetery may have the opportunity to attend a Wreath Laying Ceremony or take a Tram tour, with advance planning.

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

Mount Vernon, the historic estate of George Washington lies just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. a mere 16 miles distance from the nation’s capital. Mount Vernon is exquisitely preserved. Educational travel groups will be greeted at a brand new building, the Ford Orientation Center, and will tour The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center which houses 25 new theaters and galleries that narrate the entire story of George Washington’s life. The Reynolds museum displays 500 original artifacts, and offers 11 videos and Immersion Theater as a way of learning about our founding father.

Student travel groups can experience living history by observing a working 18th Century farm and gristmill, as well as other educational programs. Student travel groups may tour the mansion, gardens, working farm, and more.

Educational travel to Washington D.C. is greatly enhanced by trips to Northern Virginia historical points of interest. Places like the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, and Mount Vernon should not be ignored on a student travel tour of the Washington D.C. area. For more information on specific points of interest in the Washington D.C. area for student travel groups, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

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Itinerary for an Educational Field Trip to Washington DC

Our nation’s capital city, Washington D.C. is one of the greatest classrooms in the world. Students can take a senior class trip, high school trip, band trip, or musical tour to Washington D.C. for three to four days or more. Student travel tours will have time to visit some of the major destinations in Washington D.C. over this time period, and take in the cultural and dining opportunities available, too.

There are so many sites to see in the Washington D.C. area. A brief itinerary of some of the more popular student tour destinations in Washington D.C., along with the national capital’s educational components, are discussed here.

In the heart of Washington D.C.: The Washington Monument The construction of the Washington Monument started in 1848, was interrupted by the Civil War, and it was completed and dedicated in 1885. Student tour groups can learn about the history of the placement of the monument, the materials that went into its construction (including cornerstone and capstone) and the fundraising and architectural efforts that created one of the nation’s most treasured monuments. Interwoven with a student tour that includes a visit to the monument is George Washington’s legacy along with details on his lasting impact on American history, politics, and the formation of democracy. Make arrangements to visit the Washington Monument on student field trips to Washington D.C.

Educational field trips to the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. The US Capitol building is always a popular choice on school field trips to Washington D.C. Students tour groups will learn about the historical and cultural significance of the U.S. Capitol Building. Educational tours to the U.S. Capitol Building will also have an opportunity to tour the building that acts as the focal point of the U.S. democratic system. A field trip to the U.S. Capitol provides students keen insight into the true execution of balance of power between executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Educational student tours observe Senate and the U.S House of Representatives’ chambers in the U.S. Capitol. A visit to the President’s Room is also a great stop on a school field trip because it is a place where historical bills have been signed. During a student tour of the U.S. Capitol Building visitors will also learn about the prized historical moments that have defined American democracy.

White House VIP Tour: Save Time on Field Trips to Washington D.C. Even with security concerns, it is still possible to visit the White House and receive a tour. Student groups with special reservations skip waiting in line to take the White House VIP tour. This tour is one the highlights of an educational field trip to Washington D.C. The White House VIP tour is usually given by a special agent or another qualified educational tour guide. Students will visit the Diplomatic Reception Room, Map Room, State Dining Room, Library, the Northeast Gate of the White House and more. Student tours of the White House are also available from 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Educational field trips are a great way to expand a student’s understanding about the function of democracy. The history of our representative government is contained in a school field trip to Washington D.C. and needs to be explained by a qualified, student friendly tour guide for maximum benefits for any student group. These field trip ideas are an excellent way to begin planning a field trip to Washington D.C. Visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com for other ideas on student tours of Washington D.C. and other favorite student destinations such as Orlando, Florida and New York City.

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