By Rameen Naviwala
First-grade field trips can be a transformative educational experience for young learners, especially as they dive into STEM learning. Field trips allow one to step outside the classroom and explore the world in a way that textbooks and lectures cannot replicate. There are multiple field trips that students can take that will engage them in hands-on learning, spark their curiosity, and leave a lasting impression. From nature to historical landmarks, here are four first-grade STEM field trips that will engage your first-grade students.
1. The Kennedy Space Center
A field trip to the Kennedy Space Center can be an exciting and educational adventure for first-grade students that allows them to learn about the broader universe that surrounds us. It’s an opportunity for your students to explore the wonders of space, science, and history in a way that’s both educational and awe-inspiring. They will learn about the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, the Rocket Garden, talk to astronauts, and more as they explore space. Students will learn, research, and dream, making it a significant and determining experience in a child’s education and future aspirations.
2. A National Park
Taking your students to any national park can help them to the beauty of nature and the importance of conservation. Your students can explore the great outdoors and learn more about the diverse ecosystems. They go on nature walks or tours, learn more about the park in its visitor center, observe wildlife up close and personal, and even join the Junior Ranger Program if available. A field trip to a national park offers your first-grade students a unique opportunity to connect with nature and gain a greater appreciation for the outdoors. It is a chance for them to learn about the environment, engage in outdoor activities, and develop a sense of wonder and respect for the natural world.
3. A Skyscraper
While this may seem different from your typical STEM field trip, taking your students to a skyscraper can give them a new appreciation for the complexities of engineering that allow for the feat of a building to be created. Teach them the design and history behind the building and even encourage them to mock up a drawing of their skyscraper. To enhance the lesson, create an assignment where they make skyscrapers out of toothpicks or popsicle sticks. This field trip will help your students understand engineering better and how it is integrated into their daily lives, such as the buildings they live in and go to school.
4. An Aquarium
If you want your students to learn more about marine biology and gain insight into the vast ocean surrounding us, an aquarium is the perfect place. Your students will not only love seeing all the sea creatures, but they will learn about the various ecosystems in the ocean and their importance. This field trip can foster a love for marine life that can turn into a successful career for your students.
Field trips can be eye-opening to young children, such as first-grade students, for many reasons, mainly how they help them realize who they want to be when they grow up. That is why it is essential to plan educational trips that allow them to gain knowledge on various facets of STEM careers. The Kennedy Space Center, a national park, a skyscraper, and an aquarium are thrilling field trips you can add to your learning curriculum and take your students to.
Do you want more resources on the topic of STEM field trips? NSTEM’s vast resources database provides thousands of STEM resources that are searchable by category, school level, and state. This comprehensive library includes info on enrichment activities, curricula, internships, scholarships, and more. Check out a free sampling here. Or get an NSTEM membership today to unlock the complete list.
K-2 is where it all starts with STEM education. The National STEM Honor Society focuses on “From K to Career, NSTEM from the Start!” To begin your K-2 Chapter of the National STEM Honor Society, click here.