Field Trip Tips
Taking your group on a field trip to an educational facility like the Emera Astronomy Center is an adventure that involves rich, real-world experience and fun filled activities. Here are a few field trip tips to help maximize the value of the field trip and minimize the difficulties of navigating unfamiliar territory with your group.
- Plan ahead! When arranging for your field trip visits, anticipate the needs of your group. Provide time and opportunity to use bathroom facilities, and a location for snacks and meals whether at restaurant facilities or at a rest area where a bag lunch can be enjoyed, and allow students ample time to enjoy the primary sites of your trip.
- Get directions and maps of the area(s) that you will be visiting, and consult with the host facility(ies) to determine the amount of time required for their programs and for travel between facilities and events. See maps to the Jordan Planetarium.
- Make the field trip relevant. Spend time with your group discussing and learning about the subjects addressed at the sites that you are going to visit. Most sites have materials that can be used in advance that help to focus your group’s attention on the lessons that can be gained from this visit. The Jordan Planetarium offers Cosmic Classroom guides for each star show, so that your class will be fully prepared for their visit to the planetarium.
- Organize, organize, organize. In the weeks leading up to a field trip, get permission slips from every student’s family allowing the student to participate in the field trip. Be sure that it includes a telephone number where guardians and parents can be reached on the day of the field trip.
This is also the time to solicit the help of parents and teachers to be chaperones during the field trip. State law requires at least one chaperone for every ten students in a school class. Additional adults are usually very helpful, but adults who have to bring other siblings may be bringing unwanted distractions.
With children’s groups, it is often wise to assign a chaperone to a specific group of children, so that the task of counting heads and carrying out directions does not fall entirely on the shoulders of one or two leaders.
Collect all of the monies that are required from each student before leaving home, and organize the payments into separate envelopes for each of the facilities that you will be visiting.
Exploration Sites on Campus
The University of Maine at Orono is Maine’s largest and most diverse college campus. There are many attractions on campus for visitors, students, children and adults to see and enjoy. The Jordan Planetarium and Observatory is just a small part of what the University of Maine has to offer visitors to the university campus. Classroom field trips can greatly benefit from the many institutions at UMaine; large class groups can be split into smaller groups, and the class can visit multiple attractions on a single visit.
Page Farm and Home Museum
Page Farm and Home Museum’s mission is to preserve artifacts from rural Maine history, focusing on the period between 1865 and 1940. It is available to groups by advance reservation and fees are required. Contact the Museum or visit their web site for more information.
The Museum and its collections sprawl out in four buildings and include an herb garden on the campus.
contact: Patricia Henner, curator
The Hudson Museum of Anthropology presents tours, galleries, and lectures from distinguished scholars to hundreds of visitors each year. It is available to groups by advance reservation and fees are required. Contact the Museum or visit their web site for more information. The museum is located inside the Collins Center for the Arts on the Orono campus.
Contact: Gretchen Faulkner, program coordinator
UMaine Visitor’s Center
The University of Maine Visitor’s Center is a great resource for people new to campus. They can organize a campus tour, give out contact information for other places on campus, and help with all aspects of your UMaine visit.
Another possible on-campus activity, The Mainely Physics Road Show! They will put on an exciting and informative hour-long show tailored to your students! Limited availability, please plan well in advance, Fridays and some Thursdays. Contact David Sturm at David.Sturm@umit.maine.edu 207.581.1241 for specific information and scheduling.