At the conclusion of their study of watersheds every fall, eighth graders go on a three day overnight trip to the Chesapeake Bay. “We believe field trips provide incredible experiential learning opportunities that cannot be duplicated in the classroom,” says Mrs. Hobbs, an Upper School science teacher. “It’s not until you are immersed in Bay life that you make a personal connection to what you are learning.”
In the classroom students are taught that runoff from the watershed negatively impacts the ecology of the bay. Runoff impacts the growth and population of grasses, crabs, oysters and other bay inhabitants and this in turn impacts the watermen who rely on the bay for their livelihood.
There are many types of field trips and experiential learning opportunities built into the Powhatan experience. These projects enhance Deep Learning, which implies that students will follow a particular route of inquiry from top to bottom, rather than simply lightly sampling all the possible routes. We are committed to providing this type of robust learning environment throughout the school.
Deep Learning requires enthusiastic students in order to thrive, and field trips engage the students at a more meaningful level. This interdisciplinary approach is best reflected by teamwork and strong student outcomes. The end result is mastery of the material and an authentic experience, instead of just merely completing an assignment.