Educational Field Trips
Lots of learning happens on CCA field trips!
One of the myths about cyber school is that students spend all their days in front of a computer and have no chance to socialize or take field trips. That’s not the case at CCA. Cyber school field trips take place during the entire school year and across the entire state.
You don’t need to be in a brick-and-mortar school to travel to hands-on experiences that bring your virtual learning to life. In fact, cyber charter school field trips don’t disrupt your educational day because we don’t operate on a traditional school day schedule. That flexibility opens even more opportunities for educational field trips.
Benefits of Field Trips for Cyber School Students
Budget concerns, overcrowding and the strains of meeting educational mandates in a strict time frame have caused many school districts to curtail educational field trips. Because of the inherent flexibility of a cyber education, field trips are a mainstay of the online educational experience.
Every student brings a different life experience to the classroom. Students who are exposed to a broad range of subjects and experiences in all disciplines, from art and music to science and math, can think more broadly and perform better in school.
One of the best ways to supplement learning is with a steady diet of field trips. Research has shown that educational field trips improve educational outcomes, provide socialization outlets, open the door to new cultural experiences and provide a front-seat, hands-on learning experience.
Improved Educational Outcomes
In 2011, one of the first large-scale studies that measured the benefits derived from an arts field trip showed multiple gains. The study of more than 10,000 students and nearly 500 teachers was conducted after they attended an art museum field trip. Analyzing the result showed that the participating students had stronger critical thinking skills and increased historical empathy, displayed higher levels of tolerance and had a greater taste for consuming art and culture.
A 2015 study found that middle school students who participated in science field trips scored better on their state science tests. Researchers believe that’s because field trips and the hands-on learning they entail make concepts more memorable.
The benefits of educational field trips also seem to have long-lasting effects, according to a U.S. Travel Association study of adults, half who had gone on a field trip in their youth and half who had not.
The study found that, regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, students who take educational trips have better grades (59%), higher graduation rates from high school (95%) and college (63%) and greater income (12% higher annually) than those who have not taken educational field trips. In fact, 89% of respondents said educational trips had a positive, lasting impact on their education and career because the trips made them more engaged, intellectually curious and interested in and out of school.
Cyber charter field trips allow for socializing and bonding but also for building community and learning the soft skills that will be needed in the working world. These field trips provide an avenue for students to meet face to face with their virtual teachers and classmates. Although there is plenty of online interaction with peers and teachers during school lessons, the ability to meet in person and experience an event as a group can cement those online relationships.
Students also gain a social education on charter school field trips by learning proper behavior in different environments. Some of the more popular field trip destinations involve the arts. Often, these trips are a child’s first experience in a gallery or theater. Students also can use the trips as a way to improve their soft skills like learning how to dress appropriately for the venue and how to interact with tour guides and other professionals who are not a part of their everyday lives.
New Cultural Experiences
Cyber charter school field trips are especially important for the opportunities they open for students to expand their horizons. Real-life learning occurs as students see things from outside their corner of the world and can increase their tolerance for differences in the world outside of the classroom.
Also, whether due to where they live, family considerations or other issues, not every student has the same enrichment opportunities available to them on their own. Cyber school field trips help level the playing field. They give students the chance to experience things outside the realm of school and home that their families may not be able to make happen on their own.
Cyber school field trips let students see the connections between what they’re learning at school and the real world. They can start to see how the material they are mastering in virtual courses can help them solve real-life problems and perhaps open their eyes to a potential career.
Every student has a different learning style. During the multisensory field trips, students engage with content in a variety of ways. They see, hear and touch what they’re learning. Not only can that hands-on learning bring classroom lessons to life and create more enthusiasm for a subject, but the field trip can serve as a touch point for an entire lesson when students return to school.
Another benefit to cyber school field trips is that not only does the hands-on learning help concepts become real, but the experience can shape assignments in other areas. For instance, students are much more likely to write about an experience they recently had, like a field trip, than a random prompt. Educational field trips could be the basis to have students write about the favorite painting or sculpture they saw on a museum trip or discuss the importance of protecting animal habitats they saw at an aquarium.
Our Field Trip Experiences
As part of our regular teaching philosophy, CCA schedules more than 700 exciting and educational field trips across Pennsylvania each year. Most of the trips are free and are planned across the state so students in every region can easily attend. Students can attend trips in any region they desire, but we make sure we distribute them throughout the state to make it easier for families.
Families can attend an unlimited number of free field trips and CCA ensures all families have an equal chance to attend the popular paid trips each month.
Cyber school field trips have a proven value socially and educationally. Every one of these trips brings our virtual learning to life and reinforces the connections our students, families and teachers make as a part of the CCA community.
Educational Field Trips
Our educational field trips run the gamut of venues from the traditional museums and historic sites that bring to life what a student may be learning in a history or an art class to a behind-the-scenes look at a TV and radio station or a tour of a helicopter trauma unit, where students participated in a mock trauma incident.
The field trip coordinators at CCA strategize with teachers to create in-person learning experiences that align with academic standards. Educational field trips even correspond with lesson plans so that learners might get an introduction at the beginning of the unit, reinforcement in the middle or hands-on application at the end. Our cyber school field trips reinforce concepts once our students are back at their lessons. Because CCA students graduate college- and career-ready, we also work to see that our educational field trips give students examples of careers and professions they might want to consider.
Studies have shown that, overall, students who participate in field trips score better on tests and have stronger critical thinking skills and higher graduation rates than students who have not participated.
With more than 700 field trips each year, rest assured that we cover about every area of curriculum imaginable. Some of the trips CCA students have taken recently include:
- National Aviary in Pittsburgh
- Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek in Ford City
- The Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia
- Snapology Lancaster
- Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania in State College
- The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia
- Lehigh Gap Nature Center in Germansville
- Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square
- WHYY in Philadelphia
Our educational field trips provide students an opportunity to socialize with their peers while learning new things through hands-on activities. The goal is to make sure we are providing our students with enrichment activities that reinforce what they are learning in their online classroom.
Social Field Trips
CCA also offers just-for-fun field trips that are geared toward having our students socialize with their peers and take part in fun, hands-on activities. We offer trips to trampoline centers, ziplining, petting zoos, laser tag, rock climbing, bowling, kayaking and more.
CCA has even hosted game and movie nights at our Family Service Centers located throughout Pennsylvania.
Studies have shown that students who attend field trips not only enhance their academic performance but have greater levels of tolerance and empathy for others as compared to students who do not participate in educational field trips. And social field trips are a great way to cement the relationships students across the state have formed in their virtual classes.
Just as CCA believes our students need to have the opportunity to experience a wide range of disciplines in their academic careers, we also want to offer them just as many samplings of leisure activities. Because we’re a family-focused cyber school, our students know their flexible schedule is built for fun as well as learning.
Our CCA families also have a voice in where we go. We love to schedule field trips that are perennial family favorites, such as the annual visit to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Lancaster, but we also like to freshen up each year’s calendar with new field trips.
We encourage our families to suggest locations for future field trips to make sure we are providing rich experiences of interest to our families.
Some of the social trips CCA students have taken recently include:
- Pale Whale Canoe Fleet in Cooksburg
- Whitewater rafting and ziplining at Laurel Highlands River Tours and Outdoor Center in Ohiopyle
- Trax Farms in Finleyville
- Snow tubing at Tussey Mountain in Boalsburg
- Zembo Shrine Circus in Harrisburg
- Lahey Family Fun Park in Clarks Summit
- Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park
- Philadelphia Phillies game at Citizen Bank Park
- Grim’s Orchard & Family Farms in Breinigsville
Cyber School Field Trips Allow Students to Socialize and Engage
CCA students learn in a virtual classroom at their own pace on their own schedule, and that flexibility makes it that much easier to take educational field trips as well as just-for-fun trips.
These hands-on cyber school field trips reinforce classroom lessons, let students spend time with their virtual classmates and can even introduce students to a potential new career.
If you have questions or need additional support, our family mentors can assist you through the field trip process. We want to build those connections we value so highly to make sure that learners and families get the most out of their CCA experience.