June 13, 2011

Field Trips

By Marketing Intern Mike Jenkins

As the school year comes to a close we want to share with you of the benefits of science center trips. Students may see the field trip season as a refreshing break from their normal routine, but studies show that educational trips are no break from learning. In fact trips to science centers strongly reinforce topics covered in class throughout the year.

Thousands of students from all over northern New England came to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center this spring and learned through natural experiences. The Science Center offers students the opportunity to see many classroom topics covered in class in action and get them in touch with nature. There aren’t many places where one can see a coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, deer, and bear, along with many other native New Hampshire animals in just a short walk in the woods.

Research has shown that field trips encourage students to explore the natural world around them as well as broaden their experiences. These opportunities are likely to result in students taking more active roles in the environment later in their lives. This article highlights the mission of out education program:
“The stimulation to curiosity, the special experiences with real objects and phenomena that museums offer, and their influence on attitudes toward science and other areas of knowledge make them unique learning environments for students. The opportunities the museum experience can provide for students support their learning process within formal education environments and in other facets of their lives.”
(Ramey-Gassert, Walberg III & Walberg, 1994)
Educators at the Science Center continuously see students making connections to topics their teachers have discussed in class earlier in the year. This, along with encouraging students to be Nearer to Nature, is what the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is all about.

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