Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Field Trip!

Teaching at the Mackinac Island Public School is pretty amazing. Not only because it's Mackinac Island and our kids are fantastic, but because we have so many groups supporting our school...

Last week my co-teacher and I (with the  help of some super parents) took our 21 fourth, fifth and sixth graders to Lansing - Michigan's Capital city. Most of our trip was generously funded by the Mackinac Island Community Foundation. You may remember this trip they funded for us a couple of years ago.

Our first stop was dinner at Shaw Hall - a residence hall at Michigan State University. For many of the kids it was their first visit to a college campus. I went to MSU and regularly ate lunch at Shaw, so it was fun for me to see just how far dorm food had come.

Then, thanks to the Mackinac Arts Council, we walked over to the Wharton Center to see Wicked

(Photo: The Wharton Center)
A few of the kids had seen it before, but for most of us, it was our first time and we were not disappointed. It was AMAZING! If you live in Michigan and you can get to Lansing in the next week or so - go! I know the play was spell-binding because several fourth grade boys insisted it was the best part of the whole trip!

After a good night's sleep we were off to Impression 5 Science Center for a morning of exploration.

There were so many interesting things to play with, the kids were in constant motion -

until it was time to come together to build electric circuits. 

Next, we had a private tour of the Capitol Building.

Did you know one of the floors in the Capitol is made of glass? The kids were surprised to learn it was only about an inch thick.

They laid on that floor and marveled at the dome 160 feet above them. 

One of my fourth grade girls loved the incredible light fixtures in the Capitol. "Look Mrs. B, even the lights match Michigan's flag." I love it when kids notice things like that.

And, as if that wasn't enough to cram into the trip, when we left the Capitol we drove over to Potter Park Zoo for their overnight program. Yep, we got to spend the night at the zoo!

After touring the zoo, the kids got up close and personal with reptiles, a Eurasian Eagle owl, a tenrec and the most adorable three-banded armadillo you've ever seen. 

We had time for a campfire complete with s'mores before it was time to settle down for an animal movie (Andre - a true story about a family that rehabilitates an injured seal.) Finally, it was time for bed. Which was a good thing because we were all ready for a little rest.

We had intended to visit Abrams Planetarium in the morning before we headed for home, but Mother Nature had other plans for us. The National Weather Service issued a gale warning for the Straits area (50 mph winds) for Friday afternoon through Saturday, so we decided to leave Lansing early. Hopefully we would miss the worst of the storm and get back to the Island before they possibly closed the Mackinac Bridge or shut down the ferry. 

We arrived in Mackinaw City to find the bridge open, the ferries running, and happy parents eager to hear all about our adventure...

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