November 11, 2020 | Melissa McCallihan
Field trips have always been a big part of learning at Mustard Seed School. Taking students beyond the classroom into an immersive experience is one of the things I most enjoy about teaching at Mustard Seed School. I also love the camaraderie and community formed by the shared experience. Distance learning and virtual learning has made such an experience harder to come by. Recently though, students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades participated in a virtual learning field trip as a part of the Water Education Programs sponsored by SUEZ.
Our instructor, Andrea Potto, zoomed in and brought experiments and images to support the instruction. She also encouraged us to research further the organisms and ecosystems she was sharing with us. She started her talk using the Dead Sea and discussing density and buoyancy. She also shared about surface tension and we looked up the Jesus Lizard. She definitely peaked our curiosity. We ended the field trip discussing how much water we use when we shower. Personally, I was convicted to take shorter showers. I think some of the students were as well.
Additionally, the sixth grade took up the challenge to see how many paperclips a person could float on the surface of a cup of water. Others observed and tested the behavior of a drop of water.
So while most of the students stated later that they wished we could have gone to the water plant for the field trip, many agreed that shared experience was a good one.