🏛️ My First Year Episode 5: A Day at the Museum

By Office of Communications
Employee News
April 11, 2024

Though each day may feel full of discovery for students in Ms. Vivi’s third grade classroom, that feeling of discovery was taken up a notch when the class took their first field trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. 

“I hope the students enjoy and get something out of it,” Vivi said as she prepped for her first day working off campus. “I want everyone to feel prepared and comfortable.” 

Luckily, she had the support of another teacher who had successfully conducted this field trip multiple times. “I asked Ms. Jang for any help,” Vivi continued. “She’s got the experience. She knows what to expect — and what can be unexpected.”

Once at the museum, Vivi’s class split into smaller, chaperoned groups. 

“It’s fun to see [the students] light up when they experience something in real life from what they’re learning in school,” a chaperone shared. “Kids need to be able to move and touch and experience versus just hearing about it, [which] is very helpful for them.”

There was plenty of up-close-and-personal interaction at the Smithsonian! Students were able to touch live species and engage with moveable exhibits. “We saw some cool fossils from like a thousand years ago,” a student shared excitedly. “I touched a bunch of different bugs. They’re still alive,” exclaimed another student. Another student remarked that “the aquariums were [their] favorite part.” 

two students looking at an exhibit

“It was wonderful watching the students navigate an experience in the real world,” Ms. Vivi explained. Going into the field trip, she was worried about things going smoothly and making sure everyone (both students and chaperones) would feel comfortable. As the day concluded, it became evident that Ms. Vivi’s first field trip was a wonderful success for all. 

“[What] I love most about field trips is that we get to see a lot of cool stuff. Sometimes we get to see shows, sometimes we go to museums,” a student shared. “...And you learn!” added another student.

“[My son] loves Ms. Vivi’s class,” one chaperone shared. “She has a lot of fun energy and creativity, and I think he really enjoys the environment she sets.”