Newark middle schoolers take virtual field trips

Newark Middle School sixth graders, both in-school and remote home learners, recently went on virtual adventures to a wide range of destinations and points of interest of their choice through Schoology. 

"I was really excited to put together a virtual field trip for our sixth-grade students,” teacher Lindsay Dibble said. “Incorporating technology in the classroom is not only a passion of mine, but also a hobby. I enjoy creating digital lessons that promote student engagement. My goal as an educator is for students to have fun, while learning. 

“There were many options available for virtual field trips. I selected options that were grade-level appropriate, met student interest and were content-related for all sixth grade subjects and specials.”

In “Blob Opera,” students created their own song to learn the different pitches and tones, like tenor and bass. Students explored inventions and time periods of art with “The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Kids.” 

Ajionna Cornwell explores “Blob Opera.”

“The NBA Storytellers Through Discovery Education” had students learning about behind-the-scenes career options in basketball. Students explored common myths that many believe to be true in “Bad Science Myths.” 

Those curious about the different military branches could explore the history of aviation while touring the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Visits to the San Diego Zoo featured live footage of animals including elephants, giraffes, penguins and sea otters. 

Newark sixth grader Cheyenne Osborn looks at the San Diego Zoo elephants.

Students learned about what happens when astronauts bring slime to space in “Slime in Outer Space — Science,” as well as different science-related experiments to try with friends or family members in “Science Recipes for Home.” 

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” took viewers to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, on a walk-through tour of the theme park, rides, gift shops and a performance from the Frog Choir. “Black History” celebrated notable figures and monuments to help students learn more about civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nina Simone and James Baldwin. 

Students could choose from multiple workout videos led by “Avengers” characters in “Physical Fitness.” “Careers in the NFL” highlighted opportunities within the league, from player and sports manager to broadcaster, sports reporter and sports therapist. 

“Magic of Disney World” gave students the opportunity to view Disney on a map, explore the theme parks, watch live footage from rides and learn about Orlando. Students also explored the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California through live feeds of jellyfish, sharks and coral reef, as well as the ocean with sea turtles and dolphins. 

Ainsley Vandermark looks at rhinos and elephants at the San Diego Zoo.

Son Doong is the largest cave in the world, located in Vietnam near the Laos border. Students could move throughout the cave and explore different elements of this underground world. Other tours traveled back in time to ancient civilizations to the Acropolis of Athens, ziggurats of Mesopotamia and Great Wall of China. 

“This has been a tough year for our students,” Dibble said. “There were already many social activities that students couldn't participate in due to the pandemic, so it was important to not only myself, but everyone at NMS that we gave our students the opportunity to experience a field trip — as close to the real thing as possible.

“Students were excited to have a day where they could explore the virtual trips. They enjoyed having the responsibility of choice, deciding on which trip(s) they would like to explore. Students could take advantage of exploring as many virtual trips as time allowed for. After, they had discussions and shared what they had learned with teachers and peers."

Aiden Belling watches giraffes at the San Diego Zoo as a virtual field trip at Newark Middle School.