Tracker Pixel for Entry

Field trips: Setting the hook for lifelong engagement

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | March 4th, 2020

by Chris Dorfschmidt

I have always been a storyteller. My notebooks from school contained bits of stories or skits, things I found amusing, or ideas that would not leave my head until I had them down on paper. I still carry a notebook for that reason. My love of storytelling was a part of what made me an engaging teacher. Like a good story, I had to hook my audience. Right now, my focus is on field trips and how we can create a memorable experience. Students are not going to remember all of the facts that you try to cram into a visit, but they will remember an activity or experience they can’t do anywhere else. Some sites come with a built-in hook. The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site is a great example. Where else can you go 50 feet underground and see the keys that could start a nuclear apocalypse? That is my hook. Once hooked, we can dive deeper into the history, stories, and people. But just like fishing, you often need more than one lure, and that is what our sites are currently developing.

Several of our sites are currently working on revamping what happens on a field trip. We want to move past the formula of “watch this video, follow these rules, and complete this worksheet disguised as a scavenger hunt.” These sites are developing hands-on activities and programs to engage students. Up at Pembina, they are working on creating a game that simulates the fur trade. It is still in development, but once completed, it should make for a great learning experience. The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site is developing new educational days where students can learn about rockets and UAVs (drones).

Programs are not the only solution. Take all of the new changes coming to the Stutsman County Courthouse. A hands-on exhibit that teaches about civics and the role of elected government officials that people tend to vote for while not knowing what the position even does-- it’s a fantastic learning tool I wished existed when I was teaching government. This highly original new exhibit has the potential to reach kids outside of a historical context. We added LED lighting to show off the marvelous mechanisms of these magnificent machines and inspire the mechanically minded student. The history may not hook them, but the engineering might. I have the pleasure of touching up the paint on the courthouse's new 1908 Burrows Adding machine. I am not going to lie. I could have finished it in a day, but I am taking my time so that it can spend more time on my desk. It is that cool.

But not every school is going to be able to travel to all of our sites. The Chateau de Mores is most likely never going to give a field trip to students in Fargo. We need to address that. For the past few months, we have been working on developing a new program we are calling Ask-an-Expert. Using Skype, our fantastic content experts at the sites will be able to engage with classes across the state. The idea is simple. Our sites have created a list of topics that connect their site themes with the content covered in North Dakota Studies. Teachers can introduce the content to their students, have them think up questions, and then as a class call-in and have students ask their questions to experts. It is still in development, but we have run a few tests, and we were excited to see students engaging in historical thinking. In the next month or so, we hope to have some more information for teachers on how they can take part in testing this program out with us. We are excited by the potential and the possibility of expanding our offering and working towards adding full-fledged virtual field trips of sites.

Field trips allow students to see the concepts that they are learning in school in action. For some students, it may be the first time that they experience a museum, historic site, science center, or wiring closet. (Yes, I took several field trips to check out wiring closets.) We have an excellent opportunity to create lifelong museum-goers. All we need to dangle the hook and see what bites.

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 03-02-2020 at http://blog.statemuseum.nd.gov/ The official blog of the North Dakota State Historical Society]

Recently in:

Growing Together Opens New GardenBy Annie Prafckehttps://www.facebook.com/annie.prafcke20 May 2021On April 15th, Growing Together held a groundbreaking for the opening of its newest gardens at Gethsemane Cathedral. The space, which…

Culture

The Lehr Tabernacle

by Sabrina Hornung

By Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu17 June 2021The Lehr Tabernacle near Lehr, N.D., celebrates its 100th Centennial with events on June 18-20, 2021. The Tabernacle, also known as Prairie Bible Camp, was featured in an…

Best Bets

2021 Summer Calendar

by Sabrina Hornung

2021 Summer Calendar Toby KeithMay 21, 7pmBismarck Event Center, 315 SOUTH 5TH STREET BISMARCKTickets $25-$175, pre-party starts at 5pm.Heart and Soul May 22, 9pmThe Aquarium, 226 N BroadwayR & B, Smooth Jazz, Funk, Neo-Soul and…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comPhoto by Sabrina Hornung20 May 2021Our Opinion: Don’t be afraid to ask for directions.This is the time of year when most editors offer up their best advice to the most recent graduating classes,…

by Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com17 June 2021 Why Cooks Are Yelling “Flip Your Own Damn Burgers!”A June 3 headline in The Wall Street Journal caught my eye because it raved: “U.S. Economy’s Rebound is Without Historical…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Reviving Rural Grocery Stores in North DakotaBy Annie PrafckeFargo, ND – On October 7th, Gov. Doug Burgum awarded Milnor Market and the Forman grocery store project Main Street Awards, as part of an initiative led by the Office…

by John Showalter john.d.showalter@gmail.comThe COVID-19 pandemic took a huge toll on the live music industry. Not only concerts but full-blown…

by Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com17 June 2021Edgar Wright -- the subject of his own cult of fandom -- knows a thing or two about obsessive devotion to odds and ends of pop culture. And with “The Sparks Brothers,” the…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.com17 June 2021Along with lemonade and hotdogs, words and images marking the pavement are synonymous with summer. The accessibility of sidewalk art is appealing, but there is something to be said for…

Theatre

Digital Dragathon

by HPR Staff

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com17 June 2021The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) will be providing 60 college students from 44 colleges across America with up to almost $900,000. The 2021 Class of Astronaut Scholars will be…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…