2023 Middle School Science Center Field Trip
by Maleeya Mickelson
A favorite Back to School tradition is our annual middle school field trip to the California Science Center, which this year took place on September 21, 2023. This field trip occurs early on in the school year, giving students a great opportunity to make new friends, socialize, and share some science-related adventures.
The California Science Center was created to teach students about science in a fun way using hands-on exhibits. At the Science Center, studentsare able to further their knowledge on subjects they’ve been learning about at school as well as general scientific topics of interest. As a STEM school, it’s especially important that we go field trips like this in order to allow students to use their critical thinking and creativity to learn more about different scientific concepts. This field trip can also spark new scientific interests that students may want to explore in the future.
Right after we arrived at the Science Center, we watched the IMAX movie Blue Whales. IMAX movies are different from regular movies, in that they are shown on gigantic screens and in 3D. The IMAX movie we watched this year showcased the journeys of two crews of scientists: one documenting whales in the Gulf of California, and the other searching for a missing population of blue whales off the Seychelles Islands. This movie taught the students about the communication methods, diets, survival challenges, and so much more regarding these massive creatures, which are the largest mammals to ever live on Earth. Most importantly, the students learned about the impact of blue whales on the oceans’ ecosystems and why we must strive to protect them.
Once the IMAX movie finished, everyone headed to the cafeteria area to eat lunch. After lunch, groups of students with their chaperones were free to head off to explore the exhibits.
Images from Blue Whales
The California Science Center includes four major exhibit areas: World of Life, Creative World, Ecosystems, and Air and Space. The World of Life exhibit highlights aspects of human biology, evolution, and genetics to teach students more about the living world around them and how it came to be. Creative World shows students how people take advantage of technology to help them with transportation, communication, and construction projects. The Ecosystems exhibit lets students explore more that 200 species of plants and animals in various environments. This exhibit shows how organisms on Earth all depend upon each other and are therefore interconnected. The Air and Space section of the Science Center allows students to learn more about atmospheric flight and space travel using the principles of science and engineering. This exhibit area also houses the space shuttle Endeavour, which will unfortunately be leaving the Science Center on December 31, 2023 until its new exhibit is created nearby at the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.
The different exhibits with many interactive and informative experiences help to make the annual middle school field trip to the California Science Center a great way for the students at The Science Academy to learn more about science while also having fun. The hands-on exhibits and IMAX movie covered a handful of scientific topics including aquatic mammal biology, human biology, evolution, genetics, engineering, architecture, environmental and climate challenges, atmospheric flight, and space travel. Overall, this field trip gave the middle schoolers a very fun, engaging, and educational experience made possible thanks to our students and their families through donations to the Science Academy Fundraising Initiative (SciFi), which paid for the IMAX admissions and bus transportation. Thank you, SciFi!