Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Field Trip: Intrepid Museum of Sea, Air, & Space

If you’re interested in a fantastic field trip in New York City, check out the Intrepid Museum!

I’ve put together a power point about the museum as well as an educators guide for planning a trip. The educators guide has a sample middle school unit on aviation that can be used to prepare for an aviation tour.

This is an incredible museum that you should check out even if you are just passing through New York City.

Thomas Edison’s House and Laboratory

This weekend my husband and  I went to Thomas Edison’s estate Glenmont in West Orange, NJ. This was not his home when he invented electricity, but a massive laboratory sits at the bottom of the hill. The laboratory will reopen from renovations fall 2009. Here are some highlights of the afternoon, as well as a slide show of all our pictures at the end of the post.

Outside Edison's HouseOur picture just before the tour started.

Edison's House: GlenmontThe back of the house with the beautiful lawn.

Edisons Porch LightsThe large porch lined with lights.

Edison's LaboratoryEdison’s Laboratory. We couldn’t go inside because of renovations, but it opens again in the Fall 2009.

Edison's graveThomas Edison and his wife are both buried on the property.

To see other interesting parts of our visit (including a portrait of the Lord Kelvin), check out this slide show.

Teachers in Space!!

The NSTA published an article on two teachers that travelled to space.

Read it HERE.

Solar Panel

Really cool article about solar panel technology in Atlantic City:

Field Trips: Bodies Exhibit

It was quite a coincidence when I read the article about the Bodies Exhibition in Poland the other day, since I was already planning on visiting the New York Exhibition. I went with my husband (medical student who could tour us through the human body), sister (future occupational therapist or other medical occupation), and my parents. 

Husband and sister thoroughly enjoyed the journey through the human body. The rest of us were a bit queasy. It started with bones and skeletons and progressed through muscles, nervous system, circulatory system, respiration, other organs, reproductive system, and fetal development. 
The exhibits were incredible. The attention to detail was like a drawing in Grey’s Anatomy and every body part was labeled well. The plaques explaining what we were looking at were straight forward and satisfies those of us that weren’t looking for the gory details, as well as others who wanted to know everything!!
My favorite part was the circulatory system room. They painted the arteries red and veins blue and displayed them for various body parts and organs. I had no idea how complex and numerous the arteries were – there were so many arteries, you could tell exactly what body part you were looking at since it took the exact shape of a leg, arm, colon, etc.
There was also an intact nervous system (brain and eyes included) that was laid out on a table – a great way to understand more about nerves. Rooms such as respiration and reproduction (and others) held many specimens with interesting pathology: lung cancer, kidney stones, breast cancer, and goiters. There was even a box for smokers to trash their cigarettes after seeing the effects of their smoking!
However, I must add that things got very difficult for me once we hit the fetal development exhibit. My husband and I haven’t had children yet, but even still, the sight of fetuses from only a few weeks was almost too much to handle. One part even had a pregnant mother with a 24 week old baby. At this point, it was very hard to forget all of the exhibits were once alive.
If you’re teaching a biology or anatomy class, I would highly recommend taking a trip to the Bodies Exhibit. However, think carefully about who your students are. Sensitive students may not be able to handle the exhibit, especially considering each part once was alive (or part of a living human). This was undeniable when we notice finger and toe nails, lips, and hairy skin.
I am certainly glad I went to the Bodies Exhibition, but for me, that will probably my only trip there!!

Challenger Center for Space Science Education

Last fall I had the opportunity to visit New York City’s Challenger Center. It was an amazing experience. Students grades 4-12 get the chance to be involved in a simulation space mission as part of mission control as well as in the Space Station. Each student gets to play a role: commander/communicator, researchers, navigators, explorers, medics, etc. Every student in the space station has a counterpart in mission control who helps in completing their tasks. Teams of students are faced with emergencies and problems to solve. An excellent way to educate students about space.

The Center’s Mission:

Our vision is to create a scientifically literate population that can thrive in a world increasingly driven by information and technology. Our vision for the future is a global community where students command their own destinies by developing skills in decision making, teamwork, problem solving, and communication. This vision is based on a realistic assessment of the skills needed for success in the 21st century.


Perhaps at no other time in our nation’s history has the need for continuing excellence in education been as essential. A recent Gallup survey found that Americans overwhelmingly recognize the critical role science and technology play in our national security. And NASA has begun preparations for its ambitious return to manned missions to the Moon and possibly beyond.

However, research indicates that the United States is losing its worldwide dominance in critical areas of science and innovation. The National Science Foundation finds that there is a decrease in the number of students enrolling in undergraduate and graduate studies in engineering, physical sciences, and mathematics. The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that 47 percent of twelfth graders scored “below basic” in science skills.

Offering Solutions

Throughout our history, Challenger Center has developed a kaleidoscope of education innovations that serve as a launch pad to learning. Our network of Challenger Learning Centers, diverse classroom programming, and community outreach programs, excite students’ natural curiosities and encourage them to learn.

Innovative teacher training workshops give instructors a deeper understanding of how to teach the subjects of science and mathematics, as well as confidence that the programs they are using are content-rich and consistent with current scientific understanding. All Challenger Center programs are developed by staff educators and space scientists to ensure accuracy in content and methods of instruction.


Vacation Science: NYC Intrepid Museum

Several years ago I went to the Intrepid Museum – the closest thing New York City has to a science museum. 

It was incredible.
We got to go on the aircraft carrier, which was loaded with planes, helicopters, and all sorts of other cool stuff! Shortly after, they took it away for renovations.
GUESS WHAT!? It’s back!!

Bringing Vacation Science to the Classroom

I’ve been thinking about how to decorate my classroom…I’ve had tons of ideas run through my mind, but one has stuck. I want to create a wall of pictures of places I’ve been related to science (or just cool places I’ve been!!!). Eventually, students and other teachers could add their pictures and we’d have a whole story board of science around the world! Here are some of my vacation ideas:

CERN — the world’s largest particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland, June 2007
Kennedy Space Center — NASA base in Cape Canaveral, FL, June 2005
London Eye — large ferris-wheel type attraction ran on hydraulic power, March and April 2007
Mt. Washington — super awesome mountain to be hiked and conquered! July 2006
Niagara Falls — source of power and amazement, April 2008
Hoover Dam
Empire State Building, NYC
CitiGroup Building, NYC
Brooklyn Bridge, NYC
Cool Bridge in Boston, MA
Washington Monument, D.C.
Tallest Building, Dubai U.A.E.