Field Trips Provide Local Students with Hands-On Learning Opportunities

06 June 2016 Published in News
Elementary school students enjoy the Wind Tube exhibit Elementary school students enjoy the Wind Tube exhibit

With many schools tightening budgets, field trips are becoming an endangered species in American schools. This is shocking, as they are a great asset offering the value of place-based learning. According to a study done by the University of Arkansas, “enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge, have stronger critical-thinking skills, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture” (Bowen, Greene and Kisida, 2014). Especially for students in rural areas, field trips provide meaningful, hands-on educational experiences that students remember for years!

This is the first year the Four Corners School has had the privilege of hosting field trips in the Canyon Country Discovery Center. Last week, we hosted field trips from Monument Valley High School, Blanding Elementary School, and Monticello Elementary School. The kids had a blast! We are happy to fulfill our mission in an interactive, real, and sustainable way!

Energy was the theme on these trips, which the kids had in spades! Students learned about wind energy by building their own wind turbines out of wooden fan blades and measuring the power of the wind with wind meters. The S-Power wind turbines looming in the distance made the perfect backdrop for this lesson. Solar energy was also explored when students looked at the sun through solar scopes and raced solar powered matchbox cars to see what colors, when attached to their cars, made them race the fastest!

Students also elevated their climbing skills on the CCDC’s bouldering wall and experienced hands-on learning in our exhibits hall. This exhibits hall is home to an Augmented Reality Sandbox, where visitors can create mountains and rivers on an ever-changing, projected topographic map. This is a crowd favorite! Guests can also make and view sound waves, play on a lifesize lite-brite, learn about gravitational forces in action, make their own projectiles to test in an enormous wind tunnel, weave their own creations on a Navajo loom, play with a ton of puzzles, and read and tell stories.

At the end of the program, teachers, students, and The Four Corners staff agreed that it was a success! If you would like to host a field trip at the Canyon Country Discovery Center, please call (435) 587-2156 or email Shawn Stevens at

Bowen, Brien; Greene, Jay; and Kisida, Brian. “The Educational Value of Field Trips.” Education Next. Education Next, Winter 2014. Web. May 31, 2016.