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College Tours in the Mid South

By Howard Clemens

Since publishing an article about college tours of Southern universities and state colleges in Virginia I have fielded several inquiries about college tours for the Mid-south.  In response, I recently developed an itinerary designed for college bound high school juniors and seniors that focuses on colleges in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.  There are some excellent universities in each of these states. Students come from all over the United States and across the world to attend these well-known colleges.

A trip leader, usually a teacher or guidance counselor, brings a group of high school juniors and seniors on this type of tour. The student group has a chance to tour the campus, see residence halls, classrooms and student centers and speak to other students about the experience of attending college there. In the evenings, students usually have an opportunity to explore the town or city. This includes dining, shopping and entertainment near the university. It’s important that college bound students have a better feel for the town they will live in for four years or more.

University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

Established in 1912 as the West Tennessee Normal School, the University of Memphis is now affectionately known as U of M and is the flagship school in the Tennessee Board of Regents system.  U of M enrolls about 22,000 students and is situated in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee.  Academic programs range from African & African American Studies to Banking and Financial Services and Correctional Administration, Dance, Environmental Engineering and Technology Management Services.  The campus is characterized by contemporary architecture, with the most recent building spurt occurring in the 1990s. 

University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN

Situated in the Appalachian city of Knoxville, University of Tennessee is the flagship school of the state university system. In 2012 Forbes magazine cited University of Tennessee as one of “America’s Best Colleges.”  The Princeton Review also listed UT as one of the “150 Best Value Colleges.”  UT is well known for the College of Arts and the Sciences and colleges of:  Business, Engineering and Law.    Approximately 25,000 students are enrolled full-time at the University of Tennessee.  The campus sits on a hill -offering a nice perspective of the Smoky Mountains and the City of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Named after the main benefactor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt University was funded with an initial $1,000,000 donation in 1873.  The university serves approximately 12,000 full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Nearly 90% of all undergraduate students live on campus, creating a fun, community atmosphere in a picturesque setting. Undergraduate tuition in 2011/2012 is $40,000, reflecting the university’s private status.  Vanderbilt is best known for the MBA program and the School of Medicine. Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine and business programs have employed five Nobel Laureates.  U.S. News and World Report has ranked Vanderbilt University as 17th among the best national universities.

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

The University of Alabama was founded in 1831 and is the state’s first public university, serving over 31,000 students annually. It has been cited by Kiplinger’s annual list of colleges and universities as one of the top 100 schools that offers “great academics and affordable tuition.” UA has been ranked in the top 50 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings for 10 years.  In the last 9 years, over 40 new facilities have been added or upgraded, giving the campus a contemporary look and feel, while retaining the original buildings from the 19th Century.  UA is known for the School of Law and Engineering and the debate and forensics programs have won 16 national debate championships.  Tuscaloosa was formerly the capital of Alabama and is a city of approximately 90,000 people with much to offer the college student who resides there.

Auburn University, Auburn AL

Founded in 1856 as an all male school, Auburn University is now co-ed.  There are approximately 25,000 students enrolled and 140 degree programs to choose from.  The university is known for its agricultural studies, Teacher Education and Wildlife Sciences programs.  The town of Auburn has a population of approximately 40,000 people and is only 50 miles from Montgomery, Alabama and 115 miles from Atlanta, Georgia.  Auburn  is bike friendly and offers a wide variety of places to eat and things to do.

University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

The University of Kentucky is located in Lexington, a bustling mid-sized Southern city of just under 300,000 people.  The university currently has 28,000 students enrolled and is the flagship land-grant institution of Kentucky.  Known for the college athletics football and basketball teams, the Wildcats, UK’s colors are blue and white and the student body and community enthusiastically support their beloved teams.  UK’s most popular fields of study are: Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics and Agriculture.  For in-state students, the tuition is still very affordable, at approximately $8,000 for undergraduates for one academic year.

This is the suggested itinerary for the Mid South College Tour. Trip leaders can request variations of this tour, which can be easily modified. For example, when a student group visits University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, a trip leader may want to exercise the option to visit Alabama State University in Montgomery. Or, when groups visit Vanderbilt University in Nashville, they may also want to visit Fisk and Tennessee State Universities.

College tours are a great way to inspire college bound high school students to begin thinking about and planning where they want to obtain their degrees.

Request a Quote online or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Student Travel Trips to the Presidential Inauguration in 2013

Student travel groups studying History. Government or Social Studies may want to consider a trip to Washington D.C. in January 2013 to see the Presidential Inauguration.  This once-in-a-lifetime experience will likely change their outlook on U.S. government and the democratic process.  In addition to attending the Presidential Inauguration, student groups can also tour Washington D.C. and surrounding areas. The tour can focus on specific sites or eras in American history.

Our nation’s capital is already beginning the planning process for the inauguration ceremony, presidential speech and parade. The sooner trip leaders make a commitment to attending this event, the better. This event fills up the city, hotels and restaurants very rapidly.

Imagine a group of students witnessing one of the most important events in world history, mingling with the public, and watching government representatives and dignitaries in their official roles.  Students will gain valuable insight into three branches of government and the way in which each interacts to form a democracy.

Suggested travel dates are January 20-22, 2013. Students and teachers will travel on a 3-day weekend, since the Inauguration is actually a federal holiday and will most likely coincide with Martin Luther King Day.

January 20, 2013

The Twentieth Amendment specifies that the President of the United States must be sworn in by Noon on January 20th.  In 2013, this date falls on a Sunday. Though the date is not final, in the past when this has happened, the president is sworn in during a private ceremony on that Sunday, followed by a public ceremony on the Monday following. Expectations are this will occur on January 21, 2013.

The student trip to Washington D.C. will begin with a tour of sites relevant to history or social studies on Sunday, while the nation and Washington D.C. prepares for the ceremony.  Some sites on an itinerary may include:  U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court, Arlington National Cemetery, Smithsonian Museum(s), or other locations within the Washington D.C. metro area.  Teachers are encouraged to prepare students by selecting sites that parallel their curricular objectives. A licensed Washington D.C. guide will accompany the group and provide interesting facts, historical information and stories related to sites visited.

On Monday, January 21st, student groups will attend the following events:

Presidential Inauguration Swearing In Ceremony

The President of the United Sates takes his official oath in assuming the highest office in the land.  Traditionally, this occurs on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.  Students will join the crowd that gathers to commemorate this historic occasion.  For many students, it will be their only visit to Washington D.C. to witness and celebrate this occasion.

Presidential Inauguration Address

The new President of the United States will make his acceptance speech immediately following the swearing in ceremony.  In the past, speeches have lasted anywhere from 15-30 minutes or more.  Students, legislators and the general public will learn about the new President’s agenda for the next four years and how he will meet potential challenges. The speech will also include a brief overview his policy on domestic and foreign issues.

Presidential Inauguration Parade
The Armed Forces Inaugural Committee organizes and executes the Inauguration parade following the Swearing in Ceremony. The armed forces assemble and march to honor their new commander in chief. Prior to the parade, the President will attend a luncheon given by the Joint Congressional Committee.  Students can expect to see all branches of the armed services represented in the Inaugural Parade – wearing their best dress uniforms. Students will gather along parade routes with the public where they will see the armed forces in all their finery. Parade participants include marching bands, musical salutes, color guards and more.

More touring for student groups follows the evening and day after Inauguration events.  Some recommended activities can include an Illuminated Tour of Memorials and Monuments, Ford’s Theatre, Mount Vernon, Washington Cathedral, the National Zoo, or other places requested by teachers.

The Presidential Inauguration only occurs once every four years (except in years when the President has passed on due to health, assassination, or impeachment).  This is a great opportunity for students of American History to see democracy in action, and witness history in the making. In order to make certain student groups have tickets and access to desired government sites in Washington D.C., trip leaders must plan well in advance.

Request a quote for a student tour or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

California: State College Tours

Students preparing for college will want to take this tour that focuses on some of the finest state supported universities in California.  These schools are well-known for specific areas of academics or sports, offer affordable in-state tuition and have a unique history. Many of California’s state-supported universities began as Normal Schools to train teachers for the Western expansion.  These were later absorbed into the state college system.

Students will have the opportunity to tour campus grounds and ask questions.  Universities are located within urban areas such as San Francisco and San Diego, and in suburban and coastal areas, such as San Jose, Stanford and Pasadena.

Here is a brief overview of each campus on this tour.


Based in the heart of Los Angeles, with almost 40,000 students, UCLA is a large urban campus that provides housing for approximately 9,000 students on the hill. Proximity to the movie and music industry makes UCLA a lively multicultural environment, ripe with professional opportunities and exposure to contemporary arts.   Students of the arts and sciences will not be disappointed.  From Nanotechnology to Egyptology to the School of Theater, Film and Television – UCLA has it all.  UCLA’s football team has always been a top contender and is well-supported by the campus community


University of Southern California is also based in inner city Los Angeles.  This university has a large international student population, complemented by study abroad programs. Out of 37,000 students, nearly 7,000 come from across the globe.  USC stakes its reputation on research and offers students internship opportunities.  The university is distinguished for its programs in the arts, technology and business.

University of California Berkeley (Cal)

University of California Berkley is affectionately known as “Cal.”  It sits on the San Francisco Bay in a particularly scenic campus setting.  The student population is nearly 36,000. Cal is mainly known for outstanding and notorious professors who helped reshape politics in the sixties. Cal emphasizes the liberal arts, as well as innovation.  Cal professors and students have played leading roles in contemporary advances in science and technology.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Located in Pasadena, California, this well-known science and technology university has a relatively small student body with almost 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled.  There are almost 300 faculty, allowing for a close, interwoven campus community. CalTech’s astronomy program and observatory are known across the globe. CalTech’s professors have been Nobel Prize winners in the sciences.  The famous 200 inch Hale Telescope is housed at Paolomar, and it has been recognized as the Western Hemisphere’s most powerful telescope for over forty years.   The university is also known for geological studies, since two of its former professors, Harry Wood and John Anderson, invented the seismograph for measuring earthquakes, and Charles Richter invented the Richter Scale as a form of measurement of an earthquake’s intensity.


Located south of San Francisco, Stanford University is an outstanding institution.  With an emphasis on health, the environment and sustainability, international affairs and the arts and humanities, Stanford trains students for public service and research. Stanford University encourages engagement with society and sponsors study abroad programs and semesters in Washington D.C.  The university is named for Leland Stanford, who founded it in 1891 and used his fortune to finance its construction. His largesse was obtained by selling supplies to miners in the Gold Rush of 1849 and later – the transcontinental railroad.  The university spans 8,180 acres and has over 600 major buildings on a campus with plenty of native trees.  This sustainable campus is an environment that appeals to students. About 95% of undergrads live on campus and almost 60% of graduate students do as well. More than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at Stanford University each academic year.

San Diego State University

San Diego State is an inner city university ranking 20 in the U.S. in racial diversity.  Students are encouraged to study abroad and practice community service and sustainability.  Founded in 1897, San Diego State University now serves 35,000 students.  The university is known for its programs in education, international business, social work,  speech-language pathology, biology and public administration.  Many of the programs at this California state university are recognized as leaders in research on a variety of topics.  The campus is filled with contemporary features such as: a Performing Arts Plaza, an open-air theater, a Pedestrian Bridge connecting housing to campus, an Aquaplex and more.

San Jose State University

Located in the center of Silicone Valley in San Jose California, this state university is worth a look — especially for students who excel in technical or scientific fields.  Serving over 30,000 students, with 93% residents of California, this university has a population of over 17,000 minority students. Many of the students who attend San Jose State University are first in their family to receive a higher education.  Because of San Jose State’s proximity to the tech hub of Silicone Valley, students have the chance to perform research and conduct internships in professional high tech settings.  Distinguished programs include the arts and engineering.

San Francisco State University

With nearly 30,000 students and a rich history in arts, culture, and creativity, San Francisco State serves a diverse, rural population in one of the most desirable urban centers in the U.S.  Known mainly for innovations and distinction in service learning, liberal arts and international education, this university is an epicenter in the San Francisco region.  Called a “College With a Conscience” by the Princeton Review, students and faculty are immersed in movements for social change and service to society.  The campus is easily accessible by public transportation and has established bike friendly routes to campus.

The richness and diversity of California is reflected in its state universities.

Tuition at these universities is still affordable, compared to private colleges and universities. These state colleges attract professors with names in their respective fields and create collegial environments for students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.  Serious students will want to consider a tour of California state colleges for a wider perspective on choices for their higher education.

Request a quote for the CA state college tour or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Following the Steps of History: A Student Trip to NYC, Washington D.C., Philadelphia & Gettysburg

For many students living faraway from the East Coast in other parts of the U.S., a student trip is often a once in a lifetime experience. Jason Fulton’s eight grade history students visit the East Coast each summer, departing from Azalea Middle School in Oregon. The educational objectives of the trip are to study the Revolutionary through the Civil War era.  Having his students explore the actual sites where this history took place is important to Fulton, “As we travel through time in the classroom, I focus on the many stops on our trip.  I want the students to understand the land before they walk on it,” commented Fulton.

Students Travel to Three Different States Discovering History

Fulton’s class trip occurs in the summer and includes a packed itinerary that takes students on a historical tour of three different states: New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  The student trip is seven days and five nights and includes a look at some of the most famous historical sites in the East, including Gettysburg, PA, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in New York City, and Mount Vernon in Virginia. This is just a sampling of historical places. This ambitious tour encompasses even more sites.

Active Learning Through Living History in Gettysburg

One of the favorite destinations for students on this school trip was Gettysburg. Here they toured the famous battlefields where there were a massive number of soldiers killed in both the Union and Confederate ranks. Fulton scheduled a ghost tour of Gettysburg for the group. Fulton remarked, “Kids love to be scared!  They also liked to walk the streets of Gettysburg since it too was part of the battlefield.”  The ghosts of Gettysburg helped to ignite their interest in history. So did their meeting with Abraham Lincoln, a living history actor.  “President Lincoln was a kick because of all the knowledge the actor has about Lincoln and the war,” said Fulton.  He said both of these active learning experiences were a great way to assimilate information about the Civil War from different perspectives.

Highlights of Student Tour of Washington D.C. Area

From Gettysburg, students traveled south to the Washington D.C. area.  On the way they visited Antietam Battlefield, Harpers Ferry and Arlington National Cemetery.  During a visit to Mount Vernon the next day, the student group participated in a ceremony where they laid a wreath on George Washington’s grave. “This is a big part of our trip,” said Fulton.  “We have been doing this for many years.  The kids learn how special they are when they lay the wreath.  It is awe inspiring for them.”

Students learn about American History through books, film and the World Wide Web. Yet when they actually have the opportunity to reach out and touch a place where history occurred it seems somehow more memorable.  Making a trip to the East Coast from Oregon for nearly a week takes a commitment of time and resources.  Fulton’s eighth grade students fund their own trips. For many, this opportunity to follow the steps of the great figures of Early American history is desirable, and helps to widen their understanding of the formation of the United States.

Request a Quote for a student trip, or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information.

Philadelphia Art Tours Designed for Student Travel Groups

Philadelphia Art Tour Designed for Student Travel Groups

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is also place where art flourishes. There are so many different choices for students of art when exploring this particular city. I have designed this selective tour of art venues in Philadelphia for students traveling for educational purposes.  These five art institutions are important museums in Philadelphia that represent the diverse collection of art and artifacts available in the city.  There are numerous private galleries and many other museums to visit in the Philadelphia area.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Located at the center of Ben Franklin Parkway, with a grand stepped entrance where Rocky ran to the top triumphantly, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the premiere place to view art in the city. The museum has over 200 galleries with furniture, sculpture, photography, funerary objects and more. The collection ranges from the art of antiquity to contemporary art.  Many of the permanent exhibitions represent artists from different eras. Trip leaders may want to view the website for up-to-date information on current, rotating exhibitions on view during their visit.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is one of the most prestigious places to study art in the U.S.  The focus is entirely on fine art, with an emphasis on painting, sculpting, and works on paper. The PAFA faculty is distinguished, working artists who exhibit regularly. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum has a substantial permanent collection and also displays rotating exhibitions of American artists.  In May, the graduating class exhibits a senior show at the Museum and it is always well attended.  Students interested in pursuing a career in art will find their visit to the PAFA enlightening.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

Part of the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute of Contemporary Art is a unique space where living artists exhibit their work. There is no permanent collection at the ICA, so the exhibitions are continually rotating.  Here the student artist may encounter installation art, video art, traditional arts such as painting and sculpture and much more. The idea for the ICA originated with Holmes Perkins, an architecture professor who felt his students should be exposed to contemporary art. The ICA is a strikingly angled building with a unique design. Guided tours are available for student groups, with advance planning.

The African-American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP)

The African-American Museum in Philadelphia is a relatively new museum, begun in 1976. The Museum has four galleries and an auditorium. AAMP is located on Arch Street, close to the Reading Terminal Market and near City Hall.  Rotating exhibits at the AAMP touch upon African-American experiences and contributions to: home life, Civil Rights, arts and culture, entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law and technology.  Exhibits cover the African-American experience from pre-colonial times through the present day. Interactive exhibits, educational programs designed for greater understanding of African-American cultural forms of expression, and living history presentations are some of the ways students are encouraged to engage with African-American art.

Rodin Museum

Just across the Parkway from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of Philadelphia’s treasures — the Rodin Museum — beckons students to explore it.  The gate to the Rodin Museum was designed by the master himself, Auguste Rodin. A statue of “The Thinker,” Rodin’s most famous work, sits near the entrance. Jules E. Mastbaum was a wealthy movie theater magnate who became interested in Rodin’s work after a visit to Paris when he began to collect over 100 works. The Museum collection includes bronzes, plasters, terra cotta, ground glass, drawings and more.  Mastbaum made a gift of the Rodin Museum to the City of Philadelphia, and it was opened after his death, in November 1929.  The interior of the Rodin Museum is being renovated and will be closed until late spring of 2012. Student groups are still encouraged to visit the gates, gardens, and grounds, where larger scale pieces Rodin created can be viewed.

For student groups involved in the study and practice of art, Philadelphia has many high caliber museums to tour.

Group leaders may also want to include historical destinations such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell to give students a broader perspective of the city.  For more information about scheduling an art tour, Request a Quote.

Brush up on Spanish Speaking Skills: Cultural & Immersion Tour of Puerto Rico

For many students studying Spanish, the ultimate way to test their speaking skills is to become immersed in a culture where it is the primary language.  These days, student travel groups may be less inclined to visit Mexico, due to news of attacks on American citizens traveling there.  Europe may be overpriced for smaller school trip budgets.  Puerto Rico is a great alternative to other destinations. Best of all – no passport is needed, since it is a U.S. Territory.

If the school group leader requests it – this tour is done completely in Spanish.  Students are challenged to speak Spanish while they travel.  Student travelers will eat locally made Puerto Rican food, learn Salsa dancing from locals, play dominoes and briscas, dine and converse with local guides and residents and swim and lodge where locals enjoy the beach.  Student travel groups will tour San Juan and Ponce, two of the largest cities in Puerto Rico, and also have the opportunity to explore rural areas, like the pristine beaches of Boquerón and Luquillo, the fishing village La Parguera, and El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the United States.

Read on to find out how this tour is structured to teach the Spanish student through an  immersion in Puerto Rican culture.

Dining Out in Puerto Rico
Student travelers will have authentic culinary experiences while touring. Eating locally prepared dishes is one way to learn more about everyday life in Puerto Rico. In San Juan, students will try authentic Afro-Caribbean dishes at Piñones restaurant.  While visiting the small fishing village of La Parquera in western Puerto Rico, students will be treated to a homemade dinner and snacks prepared by locals.  In Ponce, the group will eat an elegant Puerto Rican dinner at San Juan’s top salsa spot and may sample some churros – a fried pastry that is sometimes dipped in chocolate. While visiting El Yunque rainforest on the Northeast coast of Puerto Rico, students will sample Pinchos, a traditional Spanish snack eaten with toothpicks or skewers.

Experiencing Puerto Rican Culture
Salsa dancing is more popular than ever in Spanish speaking countries. Meanwhile a wave of enthusiasm for learning Salsa is sweeping the United States and other countries. On the first evening of the tour, students will take professionally taught Salsa lessons and participate in a workshop at one of Puerto Rico’s most prestigious dance schools. A few days later the group will dine in a top salsa restaurant in San Juan where they will listen to live Salsa music – where they may choose to practice some of the dance moves they learned.

On day two of the tour, students will see a Puerto Rican dance performance and participate in a workshop where they will learn the history and the moves of dance from Bomba y Plena to the current Reggaetón.

Towards the end of the tour students will learn to play dominós and briscas, two favorite local games, while relaxing after supper.

Spanish Language Learning Exercises
Foreign language teachers will be interested in hearing their students speak Spanish on tour, so the local tour guide has developed some fun and ingenious ways of learning.  On the first day of the tour he will teach the group how to sing Marc Anthony’s Preciosa, Puerto Rico’s unofficial anthem. By the final day of the tour the guide will ask students to sing Preciosa by heart.

Near La Parguera, students will have the opportunity to tour a public school and see how children in Puerto Rico learn.  The Principal will guide them around the school. Students will have a chance to test their Spanish by posing questions they may have about education in Puerto Rico – and be answered in Spanish.

While touring Ponce’s old and new farmers markets, students will participate in a Scavenger Digital Hunt.   They will learn the Spanish names for native fruits, vegetables and meat products.  This is a fun, hands-on way to learn new Spanish words using technology and real time interactions with the people of Puerto Rico.

This tour includes visits to rural areas and cities.  It can be adapted to any student travel group’s needs or preferences.  Because a Puerto Rican tour guide created it, the sites selected offer an insightful local viewpoint on culture, language and food.

Request a quote for a Cultural and Immersion Tour of Puerto Rico or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information.

Class Trips to Southeastern Virginia to Study Science

Many student trips to Virginia focus on early American history and the study of the Civil War. With sites like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Island, Yorktown Battlefields, Arlington National Cemetery, Monticello, and the historic homes of numerous presidents, it is no surprise many school trips to the Commonwealth focus on history. Yet a school trip to Virginia is also a great choice for the study of science.

In previous articles I have written about science destinations in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. and an Eco Tour of Virginia.  This article will focus specifically on destinations in Southeastern Virginia in Norfolk, Hampton, and Virginia Beach.  Destinations on the science tour of Virginia can be combined with a student trip to Washington D.C. or Williamsburg or taken as a stand-alone educational tour of Virginia.

Nauticus, The National Maritime Center
Nauticus is located on the harbor in Norfolk, Virginia. The Museum is a 45-minute bus ride from Williamsburg and is well worth the trip.  Nauticus is home to battleship Wisconsin, the last battleship built by the U.S. Navy.  Students learn about the way science impacts Naval history and economics and methods and instruments used in navigating the sea.  School groups tour the battleship Wisconsin and the nearby museum. Afterwards, groups can have lunch at Waterside, and explore downtown Norfolk.

Mariners’ Museum
The Mariner’s Museum is located in Newport News, Virginia, and encompasses 60,000 square feet of exhibition space. Students can learn about maritime history and view artifacts from the Monitor battleship and exhibitions on topics such as the Chesapeake Bay watermen. Groups touring the museum will see handmade ship models, paintings, and photographs related to the history of work on the sea from world class collections. If the weather is nice, school groups can take a walk around Mariners’ Museum Park and Noland Trail, a naturally wooded setting surrounding Lake Maury.

Virginia Air and Space Center
The Virginia Air and Space Center is not far from NASA Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, where America’s space exploration program first began in earnest.  The museum exhibits document over 100 years in aviation and provide visitors with an overview of space exploration that includes artifacts from space flights.  The Virginia Air and Space center houses over 30 planes. With its high tech interactive exhibits and an Imax theater on site, it is sure to be a popular destination for student groups.

Hampton Roads Harbor Cruise
One way for students to see and learn about life in the Chesapeake Bay region is to climb aboard a boat that gives students a view of the harbor.  Harbor cruises leave from either the port of Norfolk or Hampton, Virginia.  Each cruise includes slightly different views and points of interest.  Students will see the awe inspiring Norfolk Naval base, where aircraft carriers, submarines and other support vessels are docked. Groups will learn about other points of interest in the harbor that date to the time of the first English settlers and the Civil War.  The harbor cruise takes approximately two hours and offers a perspective that is stimulating and different from a walking tour.

Lifesaving Museum of Virginia
Student groups can take a trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia to explore the Lifesaving Museum of Virginia.  Here they will see the remains of shipwrecks, and learn about lifesaving and techniques and equipment used to rescue people from the sea.  Groups may elect to take a guided School of the Surfman tour that includes an overview of skills honed by rescuers and their stories.

The Southeastern corner of Virginia, also known as Tidewater Virginia, is the perfect place for students to engage in active learning about scientific topics.  It is rich in maritime history and the innovations of space exploration. The Tidewater area of Virginia is also home to the largest Naval base on the East Coast and several U.S. Coast Guard stations.  Depending upon curricular objectives, student tour leaders may also elect to add other destinations to the science tour such as a visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the Virginia Marine Science Museum, the Virginia Living Museum, or the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Request a Quote for a student trip or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.