Real-world learning

Riley Cornelius, Opinion Writer

The phrase,“field trip,”has a childish connotation, hear it and you think elementary or middle school. But why is high school not associated with field trips?

In elementary school, it felt likewe had a field trip at least once ayear, if not more than that. Then in middle school, there was barely one field trip in one year. As a junior, I have had only two field trips in high school so far and that is only because I signed up for a specific extra curricular or class level.

My freshman year, kids who were in English level seven, were taken to the Cedar Rapids Public Library for about half of the school day. The class was given a tour of the library then the volunteers helped us to sign up for a library card.

The next time I went on a field trip was sophomore year for a super small extracurricular class called “Today’s Politics.” The 12 of us, including my teacher and a parent chaperone, drove to Des Moines to meet the Iowa senators and representatives in action. It was hectic but I loved it.

The point of the field trip was to see what work in the capitol really looked like. There was a lot of going up and down stairs multiple times, trying to find whoever you are meeting with and lots of very quick meetings.

Our class also met with various district representatives to talk to them about ideas we had to improve Cedar Rapids. Some ideas were about how to make up snow days, animal cruelty laws or getting more recreational places in the area. The representatives listened and gave us feedback as to why our plans would or would not work.

That field trip was super important to me and it sealed the deal I did not want to go into the work of politics because the atmosphere was totally different than the one I had pictured. Highschool students need field tripslike this to better show them the real-world version of whatever extracurricular class they are in.

However, some classes might not work out as easily for having a field trip. There may not be any local locations that match the subject.

Field trips would be great for high school students even if they are not tailored to be similar to a job shadow. A field trip could just be a fun learning day outside of school. It is nice to get out of the desk and stuffy classrooms, even if it is just going to a local business in Cedar Rapids.

Field trips are one of the ways students can learn outside of the classroom. For example, the physics class at Xavier may visit an amusement park to experience how physics is used in real life. High school is about preparing us for the real-world, so bring us into the real-world to learn.