I'm looking for suggestions of virtual field trips for my 8th grade math students, especially in the STEM fields. If anyone has found some worthy of mention, I would be most appreciative.
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What an exciting idea! I did some checking and found two particularly interesting sites you can check out for middle school and high school aged kids. The first site is called AreaVibes (http://www.areavibes.com/library/online-field-trips-for-students/) and you want to go into the following links within the site: Lure of the Labyrinth, Math Virtual Field Trip, or Phythagorean Theorem Investigation. The second site is Thinkport (http://www.thinkport.org/Classroom/trips.tp) and its links are The Lure of the Labyrinth, Math by Design, and Changing the Balance. There also might be some science classes in either site that pertain to math your students would enjoy, and which could tie in with mathematical concepts.
Good luck with this! Your students will have fun!
Another source that has a lot of possibilities is http://www.cilc.org/, which offers videoconferences, including a variety or virtual field trips. Some of their offerings are free, others cost something, but teachers in my building have done a lot of them (we are lucky enough to have a coordinator to set these up for us), and the great majority of the reviews are excellent.
It's great that you are doing this with a math class! Other subjects lend themselves so naturally to these kinds of things, but I think your students will really appreciate your effort in this case.
This is a very intriguing idea -- one, frankly, that I had never heard of before. Having now done a little exploration on the internet, however, I see that such field trips have apparently become very popular in almost all the disciplines. Here are links to a few in math:
No sources to suggest, I'm afraid - all I can contribute is a hearty "thank you!" on behalf of your students for your efforts to provide motivation and real-world connections between what they are learning in class and how that knowledge is applied by real people in real situations. Especially at the middle school level, the kids find it so easy to turn off - adulthood and jobs are too far away to seem real to that age group, so they don't see any reason to apply themselves to learning all these skills they see as being irrelevant to their lives.
The virtual field trips will give them valuable insights into why it is important to start building the foundation of knowledge that will allow them to progress to further accomplishments in the future.
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