When I think back to my years in school, some of my favorite memories were the field trips. Venturing up to New York City to visit the United Nations for social studies when I was in the 8th grade. A trip to Baltimore to visit the Inner Harbor and the National Aquarium in high school. My elementary school class visiting the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, a “must see” destination for any young child interested in the sciences. These are just a few of the countless trips that students take every day across America for the purpose of expanding their learning beyond the classroom.
In my professional career in education, I’ve certainly seen no shortage of field trips! However, this past week I was asked to chaperone a trip near and dear to my heart: a visit to the wetlands and ocean off the coast of Cape May! The coastal areas of southern New Jersey teem with migrating birds, as well as fish, crabs, oysters, mollusks, and countless other creatures that inhabit the land beside the sea, and the ocean itself. For a teacher trying to make classroom lessons come to life, living within driving distance of the ocean offers the luxury of taking your students to see marine biology in person, instead of trying to simply learn from a book, a slideshow, or a website. So at the end of September, I pointed my car toward Cape May and returned, once again, to my second home.
Before I begin, however, there are a few updates I wanted to pass along. First, a sad bit of news. Several weeks ago, my wife and I toured the Wings of Freedom exhibit at the Naval Air Station Wildwood museum and got to see several WWII military aircraft that were on tour. The Wings of Freedom travels across the country, offering visitors the opportunity to see, first-hand, the aircraft that enabled our nation to win the Second World War. Sadly, on October 2nd, the B-17 Flying Fortress from the tour crashed at Bradley Airport in Hartford Connecticut. There were several injuries, and even more tragically, seven fatalities. While the loss of a historic aircraft is unfortunate, the true tragedy is the impact of the people affected by the crash.
On a more lighthearted note, I recently came across two articles that speak to the longevity of Honda products. Not one, but two 8th generation (2006-2010) Honda Civics were in the news in the past few months for achieving big mileage… a million miles each! Darrel “Doc” Gould’s 2008 Civic sedan is still on its original engine, although its automatic transmission was replaced around 500,000 miles. Also, a 2006 Civic on its original engine and transmission was recently in the news for crossing the million-mile barrier as well. The secret sauce for both of these cars achieving big mileage? Careful maintenance (both cars were exclusively dealer serviced), and lots of highway driving. It’s cool to see what Hondas are capable of achieving!
A few more photo updates, as well:
The Field Trip
The Next Mile Mark
The opportunity to chaperone a trip to the Jersey Shore, and to learn so much about the natural world that exists right in front of us, as a wonderful way to spend a work day. The Wetlands Institute is open during the summer seven days a week, providing educational programming. During the fall months, the Institute runs a special schedule, offering trips and classes out of the main office in Stone Harbor. We participated in the SEAS program – Science Education at Sea, which is specially designed for school groups, with different programs depending upon grade level. It was certainly one of the best field trips I have ever taken, as a student or chaperone!
Thanks for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead!