by Meganne Allison
This past spring, I had the opportunity to intern at the Mill Museum to learn more about museum education. My observations inspired my senior thesis on the importance of field trips to enhance student learning. I noticed time and time again that field trips have a direct impact on students and how they absorb material. Taking students out of textbooks and into the field gives them new and different experiences, shaping how they view the world.
During my time at the Mill Museum, I was able to experience the importance of field trips first hand. The museum had the pleasure of hosting four school groups from South Burlington Middle School. The classes that came were currently reading Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop. The visit helped students connect their reading to the history of the mill and local child labor issues. During the tour, students were able to hear what a mill would’ve sounded like with all the looms going at once. When the students were asked about the dangers of working in the mill, one student raised his hand and began summarizing the “part in the book where the boy lost his finger.”
The highlight of the tour was when students participated in a relay race where they were able to experience what it might have been like to work at a mill. The object of the game was for students to take turns quickly replacing a row of full bobbins with empty ones. Each student would take turns until everyone on their team had completed the task. To make things trickier, students had to use their non-dominant hand, mimicking the same handicap that the protagonist in Counting on Grace had to endure. The students LOVED this activity and the room was overflowing with laughter and smiles from students and adults alike.
It was apparent that these students truly learned a lot on their field trip and had fun doing so. Having the opportunity to observe how these students interacted with the space and the materials has proved to me that field trips are not just icing on the cake of school but much, much more.
Summer is the perfect time to start planning school trips! Call to book your tour today!
#802-355-9937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2019-2020 School year rates:
$75 for a 45 minute tour (15 students)
*additional fees may apply for larger groups or workshops.
In May, Meganne Allison graduated from Saint Michael’s college, where she majored in history and educational studies. She is now living in Florida and plans to start a job teaching Middle School in the fall.