Tag Archives: educational travel va

Educational Student Travel Explores the Study of Nature with Virginia Adventure Eco Tours

Educational student travel is an excellent way to encourage young people to explore the natural world around them. As issues of environmental preservation and conservation become more visible on the world stage, environmental educational field trips and student travel tours have started to focus on flora, fauna, wildlife, ocean ecosystems, conservation and preservation. In the state of Virginia, not far from Washington D.C., adventure eco tours can be planned to a variety of unforgettable regions off the coast, where people of all ages can learn about the power and wonder of nature.

Educational Group Travel to Assateague Island & Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

On Assateague Island visitors will find sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests and coastal bays. Ranger guided programs make exploring the island simple and fun. Assateague Island National Seashore was created to preserve the natural ecosystem of the Mid-Atlantic coast and encompasses over 48,000 acres of water and land in Virginia and Maryland.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 300 species of birds, wildlife and plants. The legendary wild horses and uniqueness of the barrier island provide endless opportunities for natural heritage and environmental education for all ages.

Student Travel on the Open Sea: Whale Watching and Dolphin Tours

Between the winter months of December and March, humpback whales migrate near the coast of Virginia near Virginia Beach. These ocean mammals are most famous for their large size, visible movements and an advanced form of communication-the whale song. Fin whales, the second largest animal on Earth, also migrate near Virginia Beach and are known for their speed. Educational, group whale watching trips can be organized through private companies and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Students can watch other marine life, including birds, in their natural habitat and view local historic landmarks such as the Cape Henry Lighthouse. Bottlenose dolphins also live along the Virginia Beach coast and are visible between May and October each year. These amazing creatures jump, play and love attention from onlookers. Dolphin cruises can be booked for small and large student tours.

Experience the Magic of Science: Plan and Educational Tour of the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is one of the best locations for an environmental, educational field trip. Students and teachers will discover over 300 hands-on exhibits, a nature trail, an outdoor aviary and marshlands. Visitors can also enjoy the 3D IMAX Theater, which features a movie screen 6 stories tall and eight stories wide.

The Bay and Ocean Pavilion takes visitors on a journey through the waters of Virginia and introduces students to native aquatic animals and plants. The Marsh Pavilion is home to snakes, otters and more. The nature trail crosses the marsh and woods. Educational tours of the 30-foot observation tower will guarantee student attention.

Eco Educational Student Tours at the Virginia Living Museum
The Virginia Living Museum is dedicated to making Virginia’s natural heritage come to life. Museum exhibits tell the stories of the animals, plants, marine life and land from the Virginia Mountains to the Coastal Plain. Galleries and exhibits include:

–Virginia’s Piedmont and Mountains Gallery
–James River Exhibit
–Virginia’s World of Darkness gallery
–Virginia’s Underground Gallery
–Appalachian Mountain Cover and Cypress Swamp
–Discovery Centers
–Abbitt Observatory
–Planetarium Theater
–Outdoor Boardwalk
–Coastal Plain Aviary
–The Butterfly Garden

Many changing exhibits are also shown annually at the museum.

Adventure Eco Tours: Discover Animals from Abroad at the Virginia Zoo

According to the Virginia Zoo web site there are nearly 400 animals living on the premises including:
–Grants or Plains Zebra
–African Lion
–Masai Giraffe
–Red River Hog
–Eastern bongo
–White rhino
–Siberian tiger
–Rock hyrax
–White-throated monitor
–Pancake tortoise

The Virginia Zoological Park helps visitors learn about the world’s flora and fauna and is dedicated to excellent treatment of the animals that live there. Education, research and conservation are some of the Virginia Zoo’s top priorities.

Student tours of the Virginia Zoo will also explain the importance of wildlife rehabilitation and the preservation of natural resources. School Discovery Programs are also available and were created to assist teachers. Informal science education programs motivate students through live animal presentations, wildlife adventure activities and even Virginia Zoo overnight stays. The Zoo is often seeing reliable volunteers for help with educational programs and special events.

Taking a student group on an eco-tour of Virginia can occur in one of two ways. The tour can be totally focused on ecological studies and issues and include the above-mentioned sites. Or an eco-tour may include a two or three day visit to Washington D.C. Here students can learn about democracy, visit the major historic sites, and partake in a cultural event, in addition to visiting an eco-tour destination.
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Discover the Civil War Era: Educational and Student Travel Tours in Washington D.C.

by Howard Clemens

In 1861, when the year the Civil War began, approximately 60,000 people lived in Washington DC. It was a time of great turmoil and great change; a time that defined and shaped the United States. Within 90 miles of Washington DC, visitors can explore a myriad of Civil War battlefields, memorial statues, historic buildings and period homes, all of which tell stories of the Civil war era. The Museum of American History, the National Archives and the Library of Congress are all home to Civil War exhibits displaying a wide array of Civil War artifacts. If you are planning a student tour or field trip in Washington DC or you are simply a history buff looking for an intriguing, educational vacation there are many Civil War sites to choose from.

No Student Travel Tour Should Miss Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site and the Peterson Boarding House
According to the National Park Service web site, www.nps.gov, the Civil War began five weeks after Lincoln’s Inauguration in March, 1861. Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered 4 years later on April 9, 1865. On April 14, 1865 Lincoln declared a day of gratitude for the end of the war and made plans to attend a comedy at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln was greeted with a standing ovation from theater attendees, but less than two hours later he would receive a fatal gunshot wound. When doctors reached the presidential box of the theater they decided to bring him to the nearest bed, which was across the street in the Peterson Boarding House. It was here that Lincoln died the next morning. Today both Ford’s Theater and the Peterson Boarding House offer tours and house a number of artifacts related to Lincoln’s assassination. The Peterson House is currently open and Ford’s Theater, which has been closed for renovations this season, will reopen in the Spring of 2009.

Learn About the Civil War and American History: Educational Travel Tours of the Lincoln Cottage
In the summer of 1862 Abraham Lincoln and his family made the first of many trips to what would later be called President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home. In order to escape the heat and pressures of life in Washington DC Lincoln made this cottage his retreat. The Lincoln Cottage Visitor Center is where student tours begin at Lincoln Cottage. The center offers interactive displays and exhibits of Lincoln memorabilia.

Be Creative: Plan a Specialty Student Tour in Washington DC

The National Museum of Health & Medicine
The National Museum of Health and Medicine offers a truly unique look at the Civil War experience. The exhibit, “To Bind up the Nation’s Wounds: Medicine During the Civil War,” includes Civil War photographs and rare artifacts. Students can view some unusual things in this museum such as General Daniel Sickle’s leg bones, which were lost at Gettysburg, and the bullet that killed Lincoln.

The African American Civil War Museum
Students, teachers, classrooms and schools interested in studying and exploring Black History must make a stop at the African American Civil War Museum. Here visitors will find artifacts, photographs and documents describing the stories of the African American soldiers that served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) during the Civil War. An interactive program even allows students to trace the descendants of USCT soldiers. A memorial lists the more than 200,000 USCT soldiers that served.

Soil Soaked in History: Visit National Civil War Battlefields Near Washington, DC
Approximately one hour to an hour and a half from DC, student tours will find a number of Civil War battlefields to visit and explore. The Antietam National Battlefield was site of the first invasion by the Confederate Army in the North. Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park is home to 203 unmarked Civil War gravesites. Gettysburg National Military Park is one of the most visited historic sites in the country. Visitors enjoy walking tours, driving tours, special programs and living history presentations. Student tours can also include the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and the Manassas National Battlefield Park, also known as the place where The Battle of Bull Run was fought. Nearby Alexandria and Arlington are also home to many historic Civil War sites.

For the history or social studies student, studying the civil war is made easier by visits to sites that were historically important during that period. Social studies and history teachers will want to partner with a qualified student tour company to ensure their students have a learning experience that meets their educational expectations.