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Field Trip Wake-Up Call

As the mother of a three month-old, I find that I usually arrive to work a little bleary-eyed. The good news is that after over a year’s hiatus, school and group tours are in full swing again here at the History Center. Nothing will wake you up like a group of 60 fourth-graders filing through the door, all atwitter about what they will see and do on their field trip. 

Kids ViolinLucky for me, the Indiana Experience is ready to meet that excited anticipation head-on. I’m proud of the level of hands-on activity our exhibits team has packed into experiences such as the You Are There spaces, Destination Indiana, and the History Lab. When kids can take a seat in a Model T in the You Are There 1924: Tool Guys and Tin Lizzies experience, try their hand at playing a violin in the You Are There 1914: The Violin Maker Upstairs experience, or become a conservator by doing a paper mending activity in the History Lab, the lessons of history are disguised as fun.

One of my favorite parts of my job is hearing students express excitement about history following a visit to the History Center. Recently, as I was leading a group to gather their things so that they could depart on their bus, a young boy complained, “But I don’t want to leave!”  I’m sure the excitement faded away as the day progressed, but I hope that the idea that the past is fascinating, and yes, sometimes fun, continues to grow in that young mind.

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Comments (3)

1. Kim says

April 13, 2010 at 4:47 p.m.
You have such a fun job!

2. Gerrie says

Sept. 9, 2011 at 10:12 p.m.
One or two to rmemeber, that is.

3. Al Wolf says

March 20, 2013 at 9:38 a.m.
Jane, the groups of children on a Historical Field Trip need not end with the exiting of a planned tour. Incourage all the Teachers and Children to become ""Marker Hunters"" by hunting for Historical Markers. It is the process not the product that is important and a learning experience in itself. 1. Locate the 'marker'. 2. Document its location. 3. Photograph it well. and 4. Up-load the information to "Historical Markers Data Base" (www.hmdb.org - - HMdb). There are other data bases that can be used but you I use HMdb because with HMdb there is NO limit on the number of contributed: Photos, Text, Comments, or Links. Video can be added via "Add-a-Link". Teachers can have their classes start with their school district to make sure that all War Memorials / Honor Rolls are processed into HMdb. The Veterans may not be able to see the memorial / honor roll due to poor health or finances. HMdb may be their only ability to see them. Teachers can also have the students locate all of the Historical Markers in their school district and also up-load to HMdb. Thusly their community will have a standing inventory of all markers in their area. The 'end result' is not the finished product - -rather - - it is the process of the entire class being involved and 'doing' the project. Further research can be added latter with old historical photos and further material. In essance, the project is on-going and the joy of ""Marker Hunting"" never ends. Have a Happy ""Hunt"" ! ! !