Knowing sixth graders have eagerly looked forward to their spring D.C. trip, Intermediate Program (IP) faculty members were determined to recreate the experience, and in the process, discovered new ways to enrich their learning goals. “The IP team of teachers who put this together showed innovation, creativity, and collaboration,” noted IP Program Coordinator Mary Schweers. “When we left school six weeks ago and began this journey of distance learning, we were really able to embrace it largely due to the design and purpose of the IP building around technology, the daily Chromebook use for both grades, the time and energy the teachers put into ‘leveling up’ with technology, the students’ daily familiarity with various learning platforms, and the teachers indefatigable desire to keep the curriculum interesting and engaging.”

With each faculty member posing an essential question, students journeyed across D.C. and explored the virtual worlds of the same museums and monuments they would have visited in person. They also found ways to have some fun, such as dressing as tourists and accepting Aquatics Director Maggie Laney’s challenge to walk outside the same number of steps as they would have in D.C. Most importantly, students were able to gain valuable insight from significant cultural, educational, and historic sites, with many naming the Holocaust Museum as one of the most meaningful. Ingraining such knowledge and understanding has always been the priority. “Canceling the trip was heartbreaking, but being able to create a virtual trip enabled us to give our students the best experience that we could,” said IP faculty member Kelly Brinson. “While we can’t recreate the excitement of being away from home, we can bring the museums, monuments, and exhibits to them through this special virtual experience.”