Somewhere they’re out there, roaming the countryside, heading west. Actually we know exactly where the students and staff from the Worthington Field Studies program are as they have a detailed calendar for the month. This summer the field studies team is headed to the Central Rockies. What a great trip. Don’t worry about all those fires out there….
Worthington Field Studies, http://www.wfsinc.org/index.htm Incorporated (WFSI) is a non-profit organization which has been administered since its inception in 1968 by Worthington science teachers. Over 1600 high school students have participated in over 54 trips to the Western United States, Canada, and the Bahamas. Participants on each trip have unique opportunities to learn science concepts unattainable inside the traditional science classroom.
Students in Worthington have incredibly rich classroom experiences. However, we recognize that all learning is not done in the brick and mortar school using traditional methods. The Worthington field studies program allows students to earn science credit and to learn important science concepts in an experiential way. Students learn the material, they experience the outdoors, they build life-long friendships and they significantly expand their worldview.
In America today quantifying education and student learning through testing has become the norm. In my mind there is nothing wrong with that. Data is an important tool to help students, teachers and parents make informed decisions around student learning. However, it’s important that we allow room for students who learn differently and continue to value experiential learning. Worthington’s field studies is an exceptional example of this.
In my time as a Worthington student I never took the field studies trip. Looking back, I think that was a mistake. In my current role I think it’s important to support, and if necessary, stand up for opportunities for students just like this. It’s part of what makes the Worthington experience so rich and unique in public schooling.
I do worry a bit about our students heading towards massive wildfires out West. However, I know the adults in charge. They have a plan, a back-up plan and a back-up plan to the back-up plan. Besides you should see the old field studies bus they used to travel in. If they can survive that, anything should be OK.