I said I’d post again tomorrow; I didn’t say WHAT TIME tomorrow. Ahem.
You would not believe the hoops your MVGS staff has jumped through in order to create a Spring Field Experience for you, students. It has been a labor of love, kittens, let me tell you.
First: We were planning a trip to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania (www.longwoodgardens.org). MVGS took a trip there a few years ago, and they customized a great experience for us. We got to see their research greenhouses, we got to take a tour of the bowels of their extensive fountain system, we got to drill holes in trees, and it was awesome. One of our students (a native of Russia originally [Hi, Irina!]) told me that the grandeur of Longwood Gardens reminded her of the Imperial Palace grounds in St. Petersburg. It’s a beautiful place, and if you get a chance I highly recommend you visit…’cause you won’t be going with us. Since we originally visited, their educational programs have grown so popular that they no longer customize field trips (do you think someone told the manager that they let 40 high school students into the fountain bowels?).
Field trip option #1: Fail
Second: Mr. Dietrich was all, “Let’s go visit Goddard Space Station! Rockets, yeah!” So, he started trying to put together a trip to Goddard. And, Goddard has a lovely educational program with facilities for tours and speakers and it was gonna be awesome!…and, then, they found out we were bringing about 10 students more than their facility can accomodate.
Field trip option #2: Fail
Third: At this point we were getting pretty desperate, the C-word was even being thrown around (cancellation). We weren’t sure we could come up with something fun, cool, educational and also something that would personally amuse the faculty (Just Kidding). We considered Langley Air Force Base (too far), the Holocaust Memorial (been there already), the National Gallery (been there already), Richmond (going there for VJAS this year), and a bunch of other options that just weren’t going to work.
Finally: And, finally, we decided that we would pull together something semi-local, something appropriately science-y, and go with an option slightly less complicated than trying to obtain military base clearance for 120 people. Your Spring Field Experience Destination is…UDVAR-HAZY, THE SMITHSONIAN AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM THAT’S NOT IN DC!!!!!!!!!! And, if you haven’t been, it’s a pretty big place, like, multiple air hangars big. There’s an Imax theater, flight simulators, tours, and a McDonald’s. Nothing’s more exciting than a Big Mac on a field
trip experience, y’all.
We’re still working on an Option B for the afternoon portion of the trip. We’re currently planning on splitting into two groups after we’re done at Udvar-Hazy, at which point we’ll go do some other cool stuff. I’d tell you about the plans, but given the track record with planning that I listed at the beginning of the post, I think I’ll refrain from jinxing the rest of our plans. When the reservations are made and confirmed, I’ll tell you about them.
And, if you’ve ever wondered what your faculty does in the afternoons after you all leave, the answer is: we make phone calls and beg people to let all of you yahoos invade their spaces. Sometimes, they even say yes. (The rest of the time we spend making fun of Mr. Hess’s hair.)