Tag Archives: educational student tour

The National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington D.C.

A new museum just opened this year in Washington D.C. that is of interest to student travel groups — the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. This museum traces the history of crime in the United States and our legal system’s methods of punishing criminal behavior.

The exhibits at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment are multimedia, three dimensional, and some are even interactive. Student travel groups will love the interactive exhibits that trace the history of notorious criminals and the consequences for crime throughout the centuries.

Interactive Crime Exhibits for Student Travel: Fun and Education
Students can experience the punishments for crime at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. Some examples of great exhibits include: visiting a booking station, getting fingerprinted, visiting the jail cell and taking a lie detector test. Students can even climb onto a Harley Davidson motorcycle designed for a police officer and rev the engine. The opportunity to experience the history of crime in this hands-on way excites student groups and engages them more deeply in the learning experience.

The Facts About the History of Crime: Washington D.C.
The National Museum of Crime and Punishment does a fine job of conveying useful, factual, historical information about the history of legal investigations into the perpetrators of crime. The museum also incorporates several modes of communication into exhibits: print, television and film. Public fascination for crime and punishment is also well represented.

CSI Experience and America’s Most Wanted Exhibits
Many student travelers have come to understand criminal behavior and investigations through popular television programs such as CSI Experience or America’s Most Wanted. The National Museum of Crime and Punishment incorporates elements of both popular television shows into their exhibits.

For example, John Walsh, the driving force behind America’s Most Wanted, is featured at the Museum. And, the fully operational filming studio of America’s Most Wanted is actually housed on the second floor. The show has been a huge influence in capturing criminals at large, and is actually teamed with the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

The CSI Experience exhibit is not just for fans of the television program. It really is a wonderful way to learn about forensics and the methodology behind this science. Some relatively new technologies such as DNA testing are helping to solve murders that happen now or have been cold cases for years. Reconstruction of the crime scene, autopsies, artifacts, and interviews all become a ‘body of evidence’ when trying to convict criminals. The CSI Experience helps students to understand that details, hard work, expertise, and ability to critically analyze a crime scene are all skills that a true crime scene investigator must cultivate in order to out think perpetrators of violent crimes.

Student travelers can stop inside the Cop Shop towards the end of their visit to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment for authentic crime fighting memorabilia.

To add a trip to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment to a student travel itinerary to Washington D.C. email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or call 800-247-7969.

Student Travel Groups Tour the Historic Canals in and Near Washington D.C.

In Early America, ships and boats transferred food, people, and other items into the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. To expedite progress and create a transportation system that benefited all, a canal system was built that connected the Potomac River to inland waterways and ultimately Ohio. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was a pivotal moment in U.S. history because it created nearly 200 miles of waterway for the efficient passage of goods and people.

Student Travel Groups Headed to Washington D.C.: Don’t Miss the Canal

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was created in the 19th Century. During this period in our nation’s history, many people along the Potomac River benefited with jobs generated from the flurry of business on the Canal. Today, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal are maintained by the National Park Service, which preserves and protects 184 miles of the former Canal route and its history.

The Great Falls of the Potomac in Northern Virginia: an Engineering Feat
The National Park Service also oversees the Great Falls of the Potomac in Northern Virginia. The Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center is just 15 miles outside of Washington D.C. These Falls were once seen as a severe challenge to building the canal, but this was overcome when a series of locks were installed here. Student travel groups find the rugged rock formations, river scenery, and historic inn stimulating, so the short drive outside Washington D.C. is entirely worthwhile.

Student travel groups on their way to Washington D.C. will want to schedule a visit to one or both sites in order to gain a full understanding of the canal system, and the way in which it functioned and enriched the region where it was located.

Add a Trip to the Georgetown Visitor Center in Downtown Washington D.C.

For student travel groups visiting the Washington D.C. metropolitan area for several days, it is easy to add a visit to the Georgetown Visitor Center of the Canal to the itinerary. Students can take a ride on a canal boat at this location or at the Great Falls Visitor Center. There is a nominal additional fee for canal boat tours, but it’s well worth it for student groups to experience the excitement of really taking a ride on a replica of an historic canal boat.

The visitor centers are also great places to see films and participate in interpretive programs that explain to student travel groups the historical high points of the canal system, the people who built it, made a livelihood on the canals, or used it for travel.

Teachers Take Note: And Educational Kit for Prepping Student Travelers

The educational programs offered by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park are designed to meet U.S. History Standards for students in grades 5-12. There is an excellent place on the park’s website http://www.nps.gov/choh/forteachers/aboutthislesson.htm teachers may visit in order to prepare student travel groups for the trip to Washington D.C. to see the historic canals.

How to Study the Historic Canals in and Near Washington D.C.
There are many different angles from which the canals can be studied. They are not only a great engineering feat, but impacted the economy of the region and this country in a profound way. There is so much to learn about these historic canals. Students will gain a better understanding of the way in which the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was built and also how it helped advance transportation to meet the pressing needs of an industrial world that was quickly switching to automation for many aspects of life.

Our founding father, George Washington, played a crucial role in the construction of the Potomac Canal, which is one way of stressing its importance. Student travel organizers and educators will want to consider adding a canal visit to their itinerary for Washington D.C. trips. A member of the professional Educational Travel Consultants team will be happy to assist. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information.

Plymouth, Salem, and Lowell Massachusetts: Boston Student Travel Destinations

Student travel groups destined for Boston Mass. are headed to one of the most popular student destinations in the U.S. Chosen as the 5th most popular student tour destination by Student and Youth Traveler, Boston has a great deal to offer. Educational tour groups find diversity in this urban area, and a clearer understanding the early history of Colonial settlement in New England.

Boston was a prominent seaport and a hub in the early days of the Colonies, and one of the strongholds of British rule. Many different periods of U.S. History can be explored in Boston. There are also some historic sites and points of interest just a short bus drive outside of Boston that student travel groups will not want to miss.

Student Travel Highlights of Plymouth
Just north of Boston on the coast of Massachusetts is Plymouth, the place where the Pilgrims made their first landing in the new world. Plymouth was the site of a colonial settlement and newfound freedom from the Church of England, celebrated by the Puritans.

Plimoth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation is a living history site where students can engage with costumed interpreters dressed in the garb of settlers in an English village circa 1627. Student travel groups can watch colonists in their day-to-day activities and better imagine how the early settlers lived. Educational tour groups may also visit the Wampanoag Home site. There they will gain an understanding of the way this Native American tribe that originally inhabited Plimoth lived.

Mayflower II
This reproduction of the original vessel the Pilgrims sailed on is a student favorite. Student groups can learn about maritime travel in the 17th Century, see a ship’s cabin from that era, and discover what it was like to live on board during a transatlantic journey. Student groups will meet both costumed and non-costumed interpreters on Mayflower II. Board the Mayflower II and journey back in time at this destination.

Plymouth Rock
Not far from the pier where the Mayflower II is anchored, is Plymouth Rock, the actual site of the first landing of Pilgrims from the old world, coming to the new world. A portico now surrounds the symbolic stone, and 1620, the date the Pilgrims landed, is etched on it. Student travel groups can learn more about the Pilgrims and the history of Plymouth Rock in Revolutionary times and during times of unrest.

Salem
Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum has much to offer educational travel groups who want to learn more about the consequences of religious intolerance during the Colonial period. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were held here, and the book, The Crucible, was based on the accusations that eventually led to the death of the accused. The Salem area includes 10 sites near Salem Common, such as the site of the courthouse, the Meetinghouse, Cemetery, and Gallows. Student travel groups will learn much by visiting the Salem Witch Museum and touring the Salem Common area.

Lowell, Mass.
Lowell National Historic Park

Just outside of Boston Mass. is Lowell, the New England town where Jack Kerouac, the famous American Writer, grew up. Kerouac’s family was French Canadian and they migrated to Lowell to find work in the textile mills. The National Park Service has preserved historic areas of Lowell, where the textile mills became an integral part of small town American life, and working class life, especially during the post World War I era, when the industrial revolution began to really take hold in the United States. Students can see the dam and canals that used the energy from the Merrimack river, the textile mills where fabric was made, and a boardinghouse that would be typical of many worker’s dwellings of that era.

Boston is a colorful place to explore the history of Early America. Don’t limit student travel group destinations to Boston proper. There are many rich educational experiences for students just outside of Boston that can easily be integrated into a tour. Visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com for even more ideas about student travel tours to Boston.

Washington D.C. and Vicinity – a Revolutionary War Tour

Many student travel groups I have toured with are visiting the East Coast for the first time. I like to offer these types of groups a view of Early American life that spans many of the Eastern states, with a focus on the Revolutionary War period.
In order to understand the Revolutionary War within the larger scheme of things, I advise teachers coordinating student tour groups to visit Yorktown and Mount Vernon in Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. Boston, Massachusettes is also on the list of destinations for the Revolutionary War Tour, but in the interest of keeping the trip brief and manageable, Boston is usually excluded. History and government teachers may want to offer an overview of Boston and the role it played during the Revolutionary War period prior to the student travel trip.

For student tour groups taking the tour from the West Coast or the Midwest, flying into Norfolk, Virginia, and flying out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania makes a great deal of sense for the Revolutionary War tour because it saves time. Students coming from closer locations may want to consider alternate flying routes to save time and cover the most distance possible. The educational travel professionals at my company schedule the student tour with everyone’s comfort and convenience in mind.


Yorktown Virginia – A Must See on the Student Travel Tour

Yorktown Battlefields are a primary destination for the Revolutionary War tour of the East. In 1781, General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered with 8,300 troops, ending the American Revolution in Yorktown. Yet the story leading up to this surrender, and the battles fought before it took place are engaging and numerous. Student travel groups will want to take the 7-mile or 9 mile driving tours of Yorktown Battlefields to have a fuller understanding of the scope of this final battle and Cornwallis’ surrender.

Yorktown Battlefield Museum
The Yorktown Battlefield Museum details it as the place where Virginia’s colonial government was established in 1691. Because of its strategic location on the York River, one of the main tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, Yorktown was a highly contested Naval post during the Revolutionary War, and so was the appropriate place for the final battle to be fought. Student tour groups will learn a great deal about the culmination of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown and therefore, should not miss this destination.

Teachers may visit http://www.nps.gov/york/forteachers/yorktowneducationalprograms.htm and with enough advance notice, may book special interepretive programs that are in sync with curriculum objectives.


Historic Revolutionary War Sites Near Washington D.C.

Not far from Washington D.C. is one of the most famous estates on American soil. Mount Vernon was George Washington’s Home, and was a working farm as well as an estate home in the Early American style. Both are well preserved. Living history programs including an actress who plays the part of Martha Washington, Our First Lady, and demonstrations of Early American farming techniques are some of the highlights of the Mount Vernon tour. Students can visit the Eighteenth Century house, farm, and gristmill for an authentic glimpse into what it must have been like to live during Washington’s time.

Philadelphia: Important Sites for a Student Tour of Revolutionary War
Since the creation and signing of the Declaration of Independence from British Colonial rule occurred in Philadelphia, many would consider it the birthplace of democracy. Thus, Philadelphia is on the Itinerary for the Revolutionary War Tour. There are many prominent sites to enjoy in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall: Visit the place where the signers of the Declaration of Independence sat and had discourse on this historic document before penning their names in old fashioned ink. Independence Hall is a well preserved and maintained site and is well worth the visit.

Liberty Bell: Though it is broken and not in use the Liberty Bell is on display for all to see now at a special location between 5th and 6th on Market Street in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell Center has exhibits and a movie to explain the significance of the Liberty Bell in American History.

Betsy Ross House: Nestled in Old City Philadelphia, not far from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall is Betsy Ross’s historic home. Betsy Ross made the first American flag and is one of the earliest women patriots. Student tour groups will enjoy a short tour of her home and the story of how she made the first American flag.

Christ Church: Located near 2nd Street and above Market, Historic Christ Church dates to 1695 and is an appropriate place to visit for the revolutionary War Tour. Christ Church was one of the first parishes of the Church of England in the new world. The Christ Church Burial Ground includes the tombs of some famous early Americans including Ben Franklin who was interred there. This historic, early American landmark is a site that student groups will not want to miss.

Washington Crossing Park
George Washington led 2,500 troops across the Delaware River on Christmas Day in 1776 from Buck’s County Pennsylvania to Trenton to attack an army of 1,500 and won. This victory came at a low point in the Revolutionary War. Students will want to visit the Pennsylvania side of Washington Crossing to see the museum, and should time permit, cross to the New Jersey side to see the landing area and the road used by the continental army to march to Trenton and attack. The trip to Washington Crossing is a short one hour journey from Philadelphia and well worth it for its historical significance during the Revolutionary period.

There are other historic sites that date back to revolutionary times and are significant. For this tour, I have concentrated on the major high points of the war and the major historic sites. Student travel groups wishing to book a tour with a Revolutionary War theme can email: info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information.

Washington D.C. and Williamsburg Jamestown Yorktown Tour: How to Make it All Work

If an educational travel group is bound for Washington D.C. and the educators wish to expand that group’s exploration of our nation’s history, a visit to Virginia is in order. Just 2 ½ hours south of Washington D.C. by bus, Early American history awaits in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement.

In 2007, Historic Jamestown celebrates its 400th Anniversary of the settlement of the English Colonies. This year kicks off many living history programs that explain the early colonial era from diverse perspectives. Even after 2007 is complete, many of these educational programs and exhibits will stay in place so the student traveler may learn from them, even if they do not make their visit during the 400th anniversary year.

The challenge for any educational travel company is how to make all of these destinations work for one student travel tour. For a four to five day tour, it takes advance planning and coordination to include educational tour highlights of Washington D.C. and Williamsburg & Jamestown in one tour — with many participants.

Here are some of the highlights I include in my company’s student travel tour of Washington D.C., Williamsburg & Jamestown:

Washington D.C.
Student travel groups enjoy a guided tour of the complete Washington D.C. area that includes sites such as The Capitol, The White House, the Lincoln Memorial, Supreme Court, National Archives and more. Students may also visit sites in Northern Virginia such as Mount Vernon and the Arlington Cemetery. As with all of our student travel groups, accommodations are in three diamond interior corridor suburban hotel, with 24-hour security provided.

Williamsburg Virginia
After two days of touring the Washington D.C. area, students embark on a short 2 ½ hour journey to Williamsburg Virginia to experience the colonial era with living history on the educational program. The Colonial Williamsburg complete sightseeing tour will include a visit to 18th Century historical buildings such as the Capitol and the Courthouse, the Public Hospital of 1773, Raleigh Tavern, and the Peyton Randolph House.

Jamestown Settlement Virginia
Jamestown Settlement is a recreation of the first English settlement in Virginia, Jamestown Island. Student travel groups will see replicas of the ships that made the journey from England: the Discovery, the Godspeed and Susan Constant. They will enter a living history exhibit of an Indian Village, and see a recreation of James Fort, where the colonists first lived. This interactive approach to history, called living history or even active learning by some educators, is a great way to engage students in learning about the colonial era.

The educational student tour of Washington D.C. and Williamsburg/Jamestown is balanced by fun and educational experiences. Students benefit from a guided tour of Washington D.C. and historic Williamsburg and living history educational programs at Jamestown Settlement. With this approach to educational travel, students are given a great learning experience as well as a trip to remember for a lifetime.