Tag Archives: student travel washington dc

Smithsonian Will Open National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall

by Howard Clemens

The new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will open on the National Mall in D.C. in 2015

A new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), a branch of the Smithsonian, is under construction in a prominent location near the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.

Doors of the new museum are scheduled to open in 2015. Until then, school groups on trips to D.C. can see the “Changing America” exhibition across the street at the National Museum of American History. This new exhibit looks at the century of hard work between the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1963 March on Washington. Students studying the anti slavery and civil rights movements will find this directly related to their curriculum. A short visit to this exhibit will be a great way to learn about some of the people and events that defined these eras in American history.

Architects Philip Freelon and David Adjaye are seeing their dream building come together right on the Mall in Washington D.C. There have been generous donations from many groups and individuals, including Oprah Winfrey – who recently gave the NMAAHC a much-needed twelve million dollar donation for their museum construction project. This will be an institution dedicated to helping all Americans see the great importance of African American history to the nation as a whole. Equally as important, the NMAAHC will make clear how the stories and histories of African Americans helped shape the struggles for freedom around the world.

The NMAAHC website has detailed information about the progress of the construction of the NMAAHC with several short documentary films, one of which shows a 3D digital model of the proposed final structure.

An interior rendition of the NMAAHC when it opens in 2015.

The NMAAHC project is innovative because of its approach to using the Web to gather archival material. Students and teachers can check the website for information on how to help preserve African American artifacts, from furniture to personal items to books. There are programs available for preserving photographs, paper documents, and also clothing and textiles. In the classroom, students can view video interviews with such prominent African American citizens as United States District Court judge Matthew J. Perry Jr. and Lawrence Guyot.

For those student travel groups and group leaders who are curious to see the project unfolding, The NMAAHC website has a construction camera with an ongoing series of snapshots of up-to-date footage of the Museum’s construction. The Washington Monument is right next door to the site of the future NMAAHC – within walking distance.

Students interested in pursuing a career in Museum work may want to explore the many internship jobs available with the NMAAHC. There are currently internship projects with the cataloging department, the collection preservation department, as well as curatorial, education and exhibition display. Students in the classroom can also be part of bringing together the many facets of this museum by helping to find and catalogue archival materials.

Some of the highlights of the museum include historical documents such as texts and photos and even implements such as shackles used during the dark age of American slavery. There are galleries also devoted to music and performing arts, as well as visual art by and about African Americans including the Harlem Renaissance through the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as well as contemporary African American artists of today.

The website gives visitors insight into upcoming exhibits for the NMAAHC. Samples of the Black Fashion Museum Collection, originally founded in 1979 by Lois K. Alexander Lane are available on the website. This collection includes bonnets worn by slaves as well as opera capes. There are also beautiful gowns made by African American fashion designer Ann Lowe, whose patrons included the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, the Duponts, and also former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Students studying slavery in the United States will also be interested in viewing the Harriet Tubman Collection, dedicated to the magnificent dedication of the woman who herself ran away from slavery as a young girl in the early 1800s. There are nearly 100 artifacts belonging to Harriet Tubman that will be on display, and some of those are currently shown in photographs on the NMAAHC website. Tubman’s fearless hard work on the Underground Railroad changed the lives of hundreds of people. She and others help make this one of the most extraordinary museum experiences on the Mall in Washington D.C.

Student trips headed to Washington D.C. will definitely want to plan a visit to the website prior to their visit – and schedule an actual visit to the museum itself in 2015. In the meantime, seeing the National Museum of American History “Changing America” exhibit is highly recommended. Learn more about black history tours of Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington D.C. These student tours are designed to create a broader understanding of the history of slavery, emancipation and civil rights in the United States.

Learn more about black history tours of Washington D.C., designed for students studying the anti-slavery movement of the 19th Century and the Civil Rights movement of the 20th Century.

Educational Travel Consultants Expands Staff, Celebrates 30 Years in Business

(Hendersonville, NC)  Educational Travel Consultants (ETC) celebrates its 30th year in the student travel business. ETC was founded by Howard and Cheryl Clemens, now deceased. Their daughters, Tiffany and Kristen Clemens, are assuming management roles in the company this year, with their father, Howard Clemens, as CEO.  “I’m pleased Tiffany and Kristen are as committed to this company as I am,” remarked Howard Clemens.  “We’ve been organizing student trips to Washington D.C. and other locations since they were children, so they have plenty of experience.  Their mother was a real motivating force in getting them involved in running the company.”

Tiffany Clemens graduated from the University of Texas Brownsville with a Bachelors degree in International Business. She speaks Spanish and is working on a Certificate from New York University in Spanish to English translation. Tiffany Clemens has worked for ETC since 2002 and she is the General Manager.

Kristen Clemens has a background in education. Her previous positions were at the Love and Learning Pre-School and Telamond Migrant Headstart. At Telamond, she used her fluency in Spanish to work with a Hispanic student population.  Kristen Clemens is Educational Travel Coordinator for K-12 school trips.

ETC began by serving the Washington D.C., New York City and Orlando student travel markets in 1983, with informative educational tours for K-12 groups at affordable prices with no hidden charges or fees.

As the company evolved, student tours of Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Williamsburg and Gettysburg were added to the roster as well as other major U.S. cities and some Canadian and Mexican destinations.

ETC became popular with educators who coordinated trips with the company each year.  ETC founders and staff started to formulate specific tours geared towards areas of study such as history, science, performance and other types of class trips. Staff accommodated teachers by designing custom school trips to focus on special areas of study.  The professionalism ETC staff demonstrates has enabled the company to retain loyal teachers and student travelers for decades.

Over the past three decades, ETC established a solid name as a student tour company to be relied upon to keep prices for individual students low enough for the maximum number of students to attend their class trips.  Visit the website to learn more about Educational Travel Consultants or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Washington DC Cathedrals Premiere Destinations for Catholic Student Travel Groups

by Howard Clemens

For Catholic student travel groups, Washington D.C. cathedrals offer some of the most historical and beautiful tourist sites in the nation—and, many say, the world. Washington’s cathedrals are architectural marvels, modeled after the great churches of Europe and comparable to them in grandeur and craftsmanship. Every year, the city’s cathedrals welcome thousands of tourists and student travel groups looking for an historical and spiritually enlightening experience. Below are some of the city’s most awe inspiring and famous buildings.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, built in a magnificent Romanesque-Byzantine style, is one of the ten largest churches in the world, and the largest Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. and North America. Among many other features, it is famous for its brilliantly colored and detailed mosaics, as well as its 70+ oratories and chapels. It also boasts the largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art in the world. The Basilica has been visited by countless luminaries over the years, including Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. It is open all year round, and offers a wealth of traditional ceremonies for students to experience, including daily masses and ceremonies. The Shrine welcomes thousands of visitors per year, including many student travel groups, and it remains a favorite destination for students from all over the world. Teachers and students can get a preview of the remarkable sights that await them by visiting the Basilica’s official website and taking a virtual tour.

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral has been host to a dazzling array of historical events, including Martin Luther King’s last sermon and Theodore Roosevelt’s 1907 speech, which dovetailed with its opening in the same year. Known as “a spiritual home for the nation,” the cathedral is notable for its exquisite design and interior. There is a sculpture of Darth Vader up in its northwest tower—the result of a children’s sculpture contest sponsored by National Geographic magazine in the Star Wars heyday of the 1980s. A blend of the ancient and the contemporary have made this beautiful structure a fun and popular destination for student travel groups for decades. The cathedral also offers a series of educational programs and lectures. Some of the sessions include meals and discussion.

The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

The Italian-Renaissance style Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle opened in 1840. Among other things, it is famous for being the site of John F. Kennedy’s funeral in 1963, and contains a plaque memorializing the late president. The cathedral itself is built in the form of a 155 cross, with a dome of 190 feet. The building seats one thousand people and is as renowned for the majesty of its holiday ceremonies as it is for being one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. With its large seating capacity, this cathedral is ideal for student travel groups looking to experience the beauty of traditional ceremonies, like the St. Anthony Novena, held on Tuesday evening, and the Miraculous Medal Novena, held on Wednesday evenings.

Student travel group leaders can plan a trip that includes a tour of the main cathedrals in Washington D.C. and include a list of other destinations, too.  Select from the many museums, galleries, monument tours, and historical sites to add to an itinerary. Student trips focused on government may visit the White House and Capitol if they want to experience the full spectrum of the city’s variety. Washington D.C. is the birthplace of the nation.  It is also a great place for students to get a feel for the elaborately built and famous cathedrals, built by master craftsman.  A cathedral tour can certainly help students connect with religion and help them gain a keen sense of European influence and architecture.

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The 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Student Tour Includes Travel to Washington D.C.

By Howard Clemens

Gettysburg celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War battle.

The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is coming up this year.  This occasion gives student travel groups a rare opportunity to gain insight into one of the Civil War’s most pivotal events.

Because of the proximity of both places, student trips to Washington D.C. often include tours of Gettysburg. Both excursions offer multiple opportunities for interactive learning.

The Gettysburg battlefield, located in the quaint, picturesque town of the same name, has many events planned for the anniversary. The crowd turn out for the celebrations is expected to be huge, and student travel groups from all over the world are expected to see Gettysburg during the 150th Anniversary celebration.

Special events that are part of the festivities are slated to run through most of the year—from April all the way through November.  Students can experience the Gettysburg Diorama, which is the U.S.’s biggest and most detailed military diorama. Diorama shows run daily, and detail the three days of Gettysburg battle in a fully-narrated light and sound show.

On November 19, 2013 there will be an official ceremony at the Soldier’s National Monument, featuring the US Marine Corps band and a keynote speaker, to be announced. A past keynote speaker was Stephen Spielberg. If student tour schedules can be adapted to include Gettysburg events, a wider range of travel and learning experiences will be available to students and teachers.

Gettysburg 150th Anniversary Lineup Offers Many Creative, Interactive Activities for Students

Students can experience Living History Weekends on the Gettysburg battlefield, which start in April and continue through the end of October. This series includes evening storytelling by the campfire, historical reenactments, and other exciting educational events. The Gettysburg Preservation Walk, a fully narrated, 45 minute guided tour around the battlefield, can help students glean a greater understanding of what living in the time of the Civil War must have been like. A variety of parades, complete with fireworks and full regalia, will also take place regularly throughout 2013.

Students can experience Civil War Lecture Dinner Cruises, or all-day events like the Encounter with History Seminar Series. The Civil War Heritage Foundation offers a Living History Encampment Series, where, according to their website, students will be “welcome to actively learn by strolling through the camp, viewing drills and demonstrations, and engaging in conversation with historians.”

More information about 150th Anniversary events can be found by visiting the Gettysburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website or the National Park Service’s website.

Gettysburg and Washington DC Offer Diverse Educational Travel Experiences for Student Travel Groups

The road from Gettysburg to Washington D.C. encompasses American history along the way. In Washington D.C., travel groups can visit Ford’s Theater, site of President Lincoln’s assassination, and the nearby Peterson House, where he died. Both places can offer profound insights to students, and increase their knowledge of the personal and national impact of the Civil War. Students can also visit the Lincoln Cottage, where Lincoln created the Emancipation Proclamation. The cottage is also notable as “bookending” the Civil War because Lincoln first visited it three days prior to his inauguration and last visited it on the day before he was assassinated. And, as ever, there are many other activities for student tour groups visiting the Washington D.C. area, like strolling through the Botanical Gardens, visiting Georgetown, or taking one of the many cruises the city offers, like the famous Cherry Blossom Cruise (great for groups traveling in the springtime) or the Spirit of Washington cruise.

Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to engage in active learning experiences and studies about the Civil War. Student travel group leaders who choose to create tours of both locations give their students a wider lens to view the Civil War and its implications.  Student groups traveling to Gettysburg for the 150th Anniversary will remember this point in contemporary history as they reflect upon the past.

For more information on student tours of Gettysburg and Washington D.C., visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Student Travel Company Tour of Washington, D.C. a Unique Learning Experience

Students pose in front of the FDR Memorial.

by Howard Clemens

Jim Roche, Assistant Principal at St. Eugene Catholic School in Point Fox, WI, recently took his students on a student tour of Washington, DC. The student trip was designed to encompass a wealth of cultural and spiritual landmarks, from the Smithsonian to the famous National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Specifically, Roche wanted to give the students a broader picture of American history. He also wanted to encourage classroom spirit and camaraderie.

As it turned out, the expedition was an enlightening and enriching experience for the students, and a great success. The backdrop of Washington D.C., with its exciting city landscape, added to the students’ overall enjoyment, and helped to generate curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. When I had the chance to interview Jim, he went over some notable details of the trip. He also talked about how he felt student travel in general had been beneficial to his classes.

Q. What is your position at St. Eugene School?

A. I am the Assistant Principal

Q.  When you put this trip together, what was your vision?

A. We offered the expedition as an official 8th grade class trip. We’ve been going to Washington D.C. for at least 7 or 8 years, and I think the last 5 or so have been with the travel group we’re using now. Our purpose is twofold: to build unity in the class and to experience the history of our nation.

Q.  Your group visited many of the major sites, such as the U.S. Capitol, the MLK Memorial, the White House, and the National Archives. How do these sites tie in with your studies?

A. The 8th grader studies U.S. History, so the tie-in is perfect. Prior to the trip, the students are asked to research a specific monument or venue and share it with the class. The visit becomes an integral part of their study of U.S. government, as well.

Q.  You chose to bring your group to the Holocaust Museum.  What were students’ reactions to visiting this site?

A. Each student has a different reaction. For some, it is a very intense experience, almost overwhelming. For others, it opens their eyes to the Holocaust in ways they’ve never contemplated before. It’s a must-see for us.

Students have a pizza party when they stop for a break while touring Washington D.C.

Q. Which Smithsonian museums did you visit, and why?

A. Each year we go to the Air & Space Museum. The 8th grade studies Astronomy in the spring, so it helps bring to life their study of the Space Program in particular. We also visit the Natural History Museum, and one other museum that the students get to choose.

Q. As a Catholic school group, it was probably very important to you to bring the children to a mass in Washington D.C. Why did you choose Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception? Can you describe the mass and students’ reaction to having a mass there, as opposed to in their own hometown?

A. In prior years, we’d always gone to the Basilica. It’s obviously much different than our own parish. The students attend Mass in the lower level chapel, which provides a unique liturgical experience for them. The whole atmosphere is reverent and rewarding.

Q.  Describe your visit to the Bureau of Engraving. How did it tie in with educational objectives? What were some of the students’ reactions?

A. The Bureau of Engraving has become a student favorite. It doesn’t really tie in to our curriculum directly. It has more to do with their fascination with the U.S. Mint, and seeing all that money in front of them. I think it’s more about the fun than our curriculum, which is fine with me.

Q. Your student group used the subway as a form of transportation.  How did this impact your trip’s cost?

A. We used the Metro because our class size was so small. Normally, we use a chartered bus and stay 20 or so miles outside the city. It worked out fine this year and allowed us an affordable option. If our travel group had not offered the Metro option, we probably could not have afforded the trip, so I’m grateful they were willing to work with us to find a solution.

Q.  Once they returned to WI and St. Eugene School, were students required to do any post-trip writing or oral presentations?

A. Yes, they prepare scrapbooks and presentations, and write about their experiences. But I think the most important aspect is the memories they have of the trip when they go off to high school, and on their separate ways.

Q. Overall, how would you describe your tour guide and the experience of traveling?

A. They were wonderful to work with. The tour guides have been knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating to our students’ needs. They’re a big reason why we return each year.

Student travel Offers Opportunities to Grow

The great thing about student travel expeditions is that they can be tailored to fit the interests and focuses of any curriculum. Catholic schools, liberal arts schools, and more traditional schools are all able to work with groups to find or create programs that are right for them. There are no limits to the creative educational possibilities the right trip can provide. Student travel packages have something for everyone, and reflect the diversity and value classroom travel can bring to the school experience.

Request a quote for a student trip to Washington D.C. today.

Student Travel Groups Heading to Washington D.C.: What’s New?

For teachers seeking to provide their students with an invigorating, immersive, and comprehensive exposure to art, culture, history, and just about anything else, Washington D.C. is the place to be.  A student trip to Washington D.C. is one of the gold standards of educational travel. Student travel groups have a range of famous landmarks at their fingertips, from Ford’s Theater to Arlington National Cemetery to the Library of Congress to the quaint hustle and bustle of Georgetown. There is something for everyone in this great city, and its liveliness makes for a one-of-a-kind experience that makes learning fun, exciting, and revelatory.

For students studying history, the city is nothing short of an invaluable resource.  Seeing everything could take weeks. For student tour groups on limited schedules, a focused itinerary for a three or four day tour works best.

The list of sites to see is growing now that Washington D.C. has added some new war memorials, a site dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a branch of the Smithsonian that focuses on African American History. Students who visit these places will gain a broader understanding of American history.

The World War II Memorial, on 17th Street between Constitution and Independence Avenues, is surrounded by the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and combines beautiful architecture with many moving testaments to those who participated in one of the 20th century’s greatest epochs. At the crossroads of these three great attractions, students will get an acute and unforgettable sense of the nation’s past. Featuring the famous “Rainbow Pool” and an its mingling fountains, the memorial is open from 9 am until 11:45 pm, and the National Park Service provides guided tours every hour, on the hour, from 10 am -11pm. Teachers can search the computerized World War II registry for information, and use the material to prepare students for this trip with advance lessons in the classroom.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, at 1964 Independence Avenue on the National Mall is a special address because the street number refers to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The MLK Memorial is a highly unique structure designed, like all of Washington’s memorials, to draw the spectator into a uniquely “hands-on” historical experience. Students can stroll the grounds, which are flanked by an abundance of cherry blossom trees and crepe myrtles, and read stone-etched inscriptions from the “I Have a Dream” speech.  The statue of Dr King itself, as massive and awe-inspiring as the Lincoln Memorial, is almost Egyptian/Sphinxlike in scope.  Visiting this new memorial to an American dedicated to the advancement of civil rights is a must for any group studying African American history and its historical and contemporary impact on the world we live in.

On the same topic, the Smithsonian Museum of African Natural History just had its groundbreaking ceremony in February of 2012, and is scheduled to officially open in 2013. The Museum of African Natural History has exhibits that are presently housed on the second floor of the National Museum of American History. From their current exhibition, “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty” to their upcoming show, ”The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963” (slated to debut in December 2012), the Museum provides a comprehensive and essential overview of African American life down through the generations, from music to sports to arts and politics. Many have been anticipating the opening of this new Smithsonian Museum where African American culture and tradition is highlighted.

Like New York City, Washington D.C. is a city that can be regarded as one of “the crossroads of the world.” There is no end to the varieties of experiences here, whether a student group is touring its many ethnic neighborhoods, dining at a variety of wonderful restaurants, touring the museums, memorials or the Capital and White House, or just steeping themselves in its atmosphere and energy in general. Teachers and student groups have loved the U.S. Capital city for all of its history, government, culture, dining and entertainment and it’s splendid architecture and memorials.

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Take Student Travel Groups on a Science Trip to Washington D.C.

Student travel group leaders and teachers often take school groups to Washington D.C. on history and government tours. Our nation’s capitol has a rich history, and the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are centrally located there. This makes the trip to Washington D.C. perfect for the study of history and government.

Yet Washington D.C. is also an ideal location for student trips which focus on science based learning. There are numerous points of interest in the Washington D.C. area that complement the study of science including: Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian American & Natural History Museum, NASA Goddard Visitor’s Center, Maryland Science Center, Baltimore National Aquarium, Marian Koshland Science Museum, and the National Zoo. In addition to scheduling visits to these locations on the itinerary, student tour groups can also allow time to visit the U.S. Capitol/Supreme Court, take an illuminated tour of Memorials and Monuments, and see the U.S.S. Barry — all in a three or four day tour.

This article will provide a brief overview of major points of interest for a science tour of Washington D.C.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum & Smithsonian American Natural History Museum
These two museums are a great starting point for an educational science trip.
U.S. explorations of space and innovations in flight are well-documented and preserved in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Students can participate in guided tours, or educational programs that are appropriate for specific grade levels. A visit to the Air and Space Museum will provide interactive learning about airplanes, outer space explorations and pivotal moments in U.S. history when American scientists and programs led the world in discoveries in flight and space missions.

The American Natural History Museum provides guided and self-guided tours and educational programs related to the history of the earth: fossils, stones, animals, pre-historic wildlife and remains, oceanic environments, and more. Student tour groups can visit permanent or special exhibits related to their curricular studies and teachers can focus the visit on exhibits which complement actual classroom learning experiences in the natural sciences. A visit to these two Smithsonian Museums provides an excellent opportunity for learning about science.

NASA Goddard Visitor’s Center
At the NASA Goddard Visitor’s Center, student tour groups gain a deeper level of insight into contemporary space exploration. The group can view photographs taken from the Hubble Space Telescope with pictures of planets, galaxies, black holes and views of earth taken from outer space. Students may view movies of earth and outer space in the Science on a Sphere projection room, where film is projected onto a spherical screen. Student groups will also learn about information gathered from satellites and other vehicles designed to explore deep space, through photographs of phenomenon on earth, the sun, and planets. Student education is enhanced through the lens of high tech devices, utilized by the NASA scientists to further our knowledge about the universe.

Maryland Science Center & Baltimore National Aquarium
Located in Baltimore, MD, just an hour outside of Washington D.C., are two premiere attractions for the science student: Maryland Science Center and the Baltimore National Aquarium. The Maryland Science Center has a rooftop observatory as well as nightly Sky and Stars SkiCasts to help the astronomy student interpret the activities of stars, planets, and other celestial bodies and occurrences. Students can watch live chemical and scientific experiments on the Demo stage, see science films projected onto a sphere, or ride on Segways when they tour the Maryland Science Center.

At the Baltimore National Aquarium, students will be especially pleased by the new exhibit, “A Dolphin’s World” an extraordinary Dolphin Show that teaches students about the ocean planet, and the way human behavior in and near the Chesapeake Bay watershed affects the dolphins’ environment on a daily basis. The Baltimore National Aquarium also has a 4-D Immersion Theater with daily shows as well as 16,500 animals on exhibit. It’s no wonder the Baltimore National Aquarium is internationally known and recognized as one of the finest aquariums in the United States. The opportunity to visit the Baltimore National Aquarium will complement any classroom studies on oceanography and life beneath the sea.

Marian Koshland Science Museum
The National Academy of Sciences Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington D.C. features interactive exhibits that teach visitors about the immediate impact science has on our daily lives. Here students will learn about the importance of safe drinking water, infectious diseases, DNA, and some of the wonders of science. The exhibits are ongoing and will change from time to time. Teachers are advised to check the Museum website to coordinate curricular plans with current exhibits.

National Zoo
The National Zoo is a spectacular showcase for animals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians from a variety of eco-systems around the world. There are numerous exhibits, many with a geographical focus such as on North America, Asia, the Amazon and Africa; exhibits that concentrate on species are: Great Cats, Giant Pandas, Birds, and Asian Elephants. Teachers can access the National Zoo website well in advance of the trip to develop lesson plans that are in sync with the visit. The curriculum guides are grade specific and available for free download, with core materials included for classroom learning, making it easy for teachers to prepare students for the trip to the National Zoo.

Teachers looking to organize a science trip will find a wealth of opportunity for quality educational experiences in Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Some of the finest science museums in the world are located in the capitol city. For more information about a science based student trip and itinerary email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for details on scheduling or pricing. Or, Request a Quote, by taking a few minutes to fill out this brief, online questionnaire.

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.