Remember taking field trips when you were in school? I remember mine well. They were great, both as a learning experience and as an adventurous change of pace from the classroom setting. Sadly, field trips are not as commonplace as they once were, mainly due to lack of funds but also due to a shift in educational focus. Is there an effective means to reintroduce children to the joys of a field trip? There certainly is and it is found online at The Field Trip Factory.
What is the Field Trip Factory?:
Field Trip Factory is a web site dedicated to scheduling field trips for educational purposes. Its motto is “Uniting Commerce, Communities, and Classrooms” and it emphasizes visits to local, community conscious retailers for learning and fun.
Educational experiences offered by the Field Trip Factory exist in all 50 states and in Canada. They are offered free of charge and usually last about 90 minutes. Transportation to the individual locations isn’t usually free, but the Field Trip Factory does offer transportation funding or financially- strapped schools.
Which Businesses are Involved?:
Field Trip Factory doesn’t include just any local business. The local company has to be community- oriented and actively involved in making life better for residents. The companies have to offer a field trip experience that abides by strict educational standards and it must support life- skill learning.
Field Trip Factory continues to add more businesses to its educational field trip rotation, but some of the companies participating right now include Michaels (arts and crafts), Ralphs, HEB, and Bi- Lo (all related to health and wellness), Orscheln Farm and Home (environmental), Universal Technical Institute (Career), Petco (animal welfare), and others. More businesses continue to be added as the Field Trip Factory concept catches on and attracts more sponsors. Attendees are taken on tours and receive a hands- on educational experience of these businesses and how they operate.
Who Can Get Involved?:
Field Trip Factory programs are designed for kids of all ages, from grade school through high school. There are also programs for scouts, preschool kids, community organizations, and more. The Field Trip Factory even offers a few field trips for adults, since the experience of learning should not be subject to age. Field trips are limited to schools or organizations. We have even used Field Trip Factory to plan fun and educational “play dates” for our mother’s group. HEB and PetCo are among our favorites.
Field Trip Factory is a fun way for kids and adults to learn more about health, business, environment, animal welfare and other important topics in the company of other curious individuals in a learning- focused environment. The trips are offered free of charge and can be scheduled directly through the Field Trip Factory web site. The site will not only schedule the field trip, they will also provide ideas for activities to enhance the experience along with permission slips and report cards to evaluate the excursion.
Field trips are a great way to learn and a nice change of pace from the usual classroom or playdate experience. If your local school is having difficulty with funds for field trips, tell them about the Field Trip Factory. It is a nice service and a positive way to spread educational enlightenment for little or no cost.
Copyright 2012, Bryan Carey