A cornerstone of the Spectrum program is learning that occurs by experiencing the world through field trips. Throughout the year students at every level will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of field trip experiences to help gain an understanding of and appreciation for our world. Field trips provide authentic opportunities for direct learning experiences and extend or introduce classroom learning. The world is our classroom!
Where will you find Spectrum Students?
Upper Elementary put on their flight suits and became astronauts for a day during our field trip to the Challenger Learning Center in Woodstock, Illinois. Students participated in a mission to gather data on an astroid passing near the International Space Station. They worked in teams to coordinate the launch of an unmanned probe, perform science experiments 'in space' and monitor the environmental conditions on the space station. This hands-on learning experience required students to calculate, manipulate and problem solve, clearly communicate and work under pressure.
Middle School students visited the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, IL after studying past and current social justice issues throughout the world and in our own community. During the year the Middle School teachers worked in collaboration with Joseph Flynn, an NIU professor, to present a comfortable environment to explore and discuss sensitive social justice topics. By visiting the museum the students were able to relate the atrocities of this time period to what is currently taking place around the world. They were also privileged to have the daughter of a Holocaust Survivor as their tour guide. The personal stories that she shared had a significant impact on our students. After the field trip to the Holocaust Museum, the students were able to eloquently and sensitively discuss the connection that the Holocaust had on past and current social justice problems.
Interest Groups often take field trips to enhance the learning experience. For example, our recent Sock Monkey Mania Interest Group explored the history of the sock monkey. Each student not only created their own sock monkey but they visited the Sock Monkey Museum at Midway Village in Rockford. Students learned how to design, make patterns, hand and machine sew. Music and writing were enhanced as students wrote and performed their own sock monkey song too!