George Lucas Educational Foundation

Industry experiences

Industry experiences

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I am a firm believer in the 'learn it by living it' philosophy. So, I try to expose my students to many 'beyond the classroom' experiences. I think they are still looked at as field trips, but mean so much more than a day out of the classroom. What do you do to bring your industry to life, beyond the confines of the brick walls?

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HoneyFernDotOrg's picture

Funny that you should post this; we just had a field experience today where we learned how to test for chemicals in a stream we are adopting right down the street from our school. This brings together scientific methods, chemistry, biology, math, engineering, environmental issues, public safety, community activism and communication (through blog posts and data reporting). We are going to get certified in bacterial testing and biological monitoring in the spring and will test once monthly throughout the year; in addition, we are committed to stream clean-up days once a month.

I think "learning it by living it" means moving past one-off field trips and trying to bring them into the realm of problem-solving or service learning; these two things go much deeper and make learning and facts relevant and useful in the real world. Students see application; we had a discussion about error analysis and lab procedures and how they affect data, and they got a chance to see how their work could help in a real, positive way instead of just hearing me harp about how important it was. It is more than making a poster or writing an essay. Learning by doing instead of doing by learning.

AsAhmed28's picture

I interpreted the philosophy and this came to mind:

1) Change the name "field trip" Its an outdated term used by unenthusiastic teachers. Create a new exciting term or phrase.

2) Give them a chance on hands on experience, they must do something! Simply said, can simply be done. Get them to volunteer (every student) let it be a must; not sit there and observe, obviously! Make it a point; when students go out on field trips they should expect physical involvement (I think that this should be one of the goals of field trip). If you going to the farm, have students do some task of a farmer (as long as it is safe to do so).

AsAhmed28's picture

Yeah! How else you can do it? To me, active learning is true learning. The more senses are involved (esp. feeling) the more you will experience, learn, and grow. One of my proverbs: change is the product of motion. When you are in motion, you change (grow, develop...) If you sit frozen, what has changed? Nothing! You just remain frozen. Like a frozen turkey, Lol

Jack Drury's picture
Jack Drury
Professional Development Consultant - Leading EDGE

Whether it is a field trip, watching a video, or some other "non-traditional" activity I generally have students working in small groups with some task they have to complete. It may be as simple as addressing a certain question or more involved such as, "Your task, during our visit to the nature center, is to collect information, ideas, and other available resources and then create a bulletin board on mammals of our region upon your return."
Nothing is done without a purpose, task, and/or product in mind. See some samples tasks at:

Jim Berman's picture
Jim Berman
Chef Instructor working with 10th, 11th & 12th graders; Wilmington, DE

Agree with all of the above! I like the concept of moving past 'field trips', not that there is anything wrong with an excursion for the sake of taking a deep breath. Bringing a project/plan/mission to life in an out-of-school experience is key. On our recent trek, here is part of the students' charge (particularly part 2 is tied to our classroom focus. Part 1 was more of an activity to get the crew moving around and examining versus just being spectators):

Complete the following Benchmarking Evaluation as you move through the various markets. Work with others, if you like. Be sure to interact with what you see - ask questions, sample foods and really examine what you are witnessing.
Submit by COB Tuesday.

Part 1: Reading Terminal Market

1. President Obama was in the market a little
while ago.
a. What did he eat?
b. From which place?

2. What are Picholine?

3. Identify and specifically describe a food safety hazard you observed

Extra Credit: Take a picture with Philbert and post it on our FaceBook page

Part 2: Reading, Italian & Asian Markets

From what you see, based on local, seasonal and artisan selections, create a menu. Be specific by listing the name of at least 12 ingredients and the shops from which they came. Attach a separate sheet!

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