Exploring outside the classroom

Camryn Anderson,, Reporter

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Each block day, various classes take advantage of the near two hour class period to escape the general nature of their classrooms and do something different. This time three classes: Engineering and Design, Heritage Speakers/Spanish Five and Zoology went on field trips for both educational purposes and amusement.

Engineering and design teacher Tom Kindinger took his class to Key Bridge Technologies, one of the three field trips they will go on this year. Key Bridge was the highest voted location on Tom’s survey because of the students interest in the field of engineering, a Key Bridge specialty. Luckily for the class a former Harding student, Dan Hounslow, works there and set everything up.

“They got to play some simulations that had to do with engineering and all the students were really competitive and seemed interested in the score,” Kindinger said.

One student, Junior Angel Ortiz, spoke highly of the trip.

“I would rate the trip a 10/10. I learned that there were many other different fields of engineering like when they make video games. The class is basically algebra and environmental [science] so it was good to get a break and I’m really  looking forward to Xerox,” Ortiz said.

Others like Junior Kayleigh Armand were disappointed with the lack of information.

I would rate the field trip a 6/10. It wasn’t as informative as it could have been. It was more them talking about themselves and what they do as a company, but I liked when they talked about the jobs I hadn’t heard of,”  Armand said.

Though a well-known engineering company, Kindinger said he believes the company taught the students much more than the basics of technical engineering. “Even though they were technical engineering kids, they stressed the importance of reading and writing in that job field. I felt that it was extremely important for the students to hear that they need writing and reading,” he said.

Zoology teacher Leslie Piccolo took her students to Lake Arcadia and a student’s family creek to collect insects for their end of the year insect collection.

The insect collection is said to be extensive and requiring much time and planning. “Many of our students might have to work on the weekends or after school so I feel really good when I take them out on a whole day field trip where they can get some collecting done,” Piccolo said.

Going to lakes and creeks allows students to find a wide variety of insects that aren’t normally in the city.

”You have to go to all these different niches to find different types of insects. You know all these different locations so that they have an array because they have to have quite a few insects for their collections,” Piccolo said.

According to Piccolo, this trip that occurs every year.

“Some years it’s better or worse depending on the location. We still got quite a bit [insects] but it wasn’t one of the better ones,” Piccolo said.

Junior Eduardo Benitez-Mejia shared his thoughts on the field trip: “It was our first time out of the class which was really cool. I would like to get out of class more to actually view the world instead of just seeing the class view,” he said.

Piccolo said she will continue to take students outside the classroom, pushing them out of their comfort zone and encouraging them to always do more than expected.

Michael Kraus took his classes to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art downtown, a trip he makes yearly. He likes this museum because of the convenience and large selection of art available to students. “It’s always interesting for me to see how students react to the art and to see the pieces the students choose to write about” Kraus said.

Kraus hopes that students learn to read art like they would read a story. The trip was meant to specifically “Analyze the work just like pieces of literature, and overall just appreciate the importance of art in peoples lives,” he said.

“Without art and without museums life would be like North Korea…bland. Everybody should go to museums to discover what it is to be human,” Kraus said.

Senior Alisha Hemani had previously been to the museum before, but this was the first time she was fully able to analyze and appreciate the exhibits.

“My favorite part about the trip was the Dale Chihuly exhibit. Instead of the art being on the sides or on the floor, all the art was on the ceiling giving it a really nice ambiance. I feel like people were really able to see the backstory behind the pieces of art and analyze it like Kraus intended,” Hemani said.

Kraus gets free admission to the museum and is making the trip available to students later this year.

The importance of field trips goes much further than a block day lesson plan. According to Piccolo, “Kids just enjoy getting outside, getting some fresh air. A lot of teachers don’t feel comfortable getting out of the classroom so the kids don’t get that fresh air and sunshine and instead stay cooped up inside.”









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