Different Things to See and Do on an NYC Field Trip.
Are you planning your next educational tour or class field trip to New York City? Why not try something different with your students or class.
A Museum of what?
One your next class trip to New York City try a different kind of attraction. There is a small museum not far from the Flat iron building dedicated to…Math!. Yes the Museum of Mathematics! No it’s not a museum where they exhibit paint by number art. But that would be a good idea. No, this museum is dedicated to math in its many forms.
Have you ever tried a bike with square wheels on a round road? Probably not, but using the right equations and some creative thinking you can ride this bike at the museum and it feels like a nice smooth ride. Join a workshop on various mathematical theories. Our last group from Kentucky had one on ‘Knot Theory’. The students learned about trefoils to pentafoils and how knot theory is used to push mathematical formulas. They even did human knots to show how the theory worked and applied.
Trefoil or Pentafoil
There is this and more to discover at this very unique museum.
Another great fun stop on your next NYC field trip is the Jekyll and Hyde Club. This is a lunch or dinner theater restaurant combining mystery and horror with a light and fun touch. From talking gargoyles, to skeleton ventriloquists and detective waiters wandering the club, it is a great setting for an off-beat meal for your student group in NYC.
Jekyll and Hyde Club
The Skyscraper Museum
As advertised, the museum is located in the foremost ‘vertical metropolis’. Learn more about these incredible buildings dotting the very recognizable skyline. Learn where the term skyscraper comes from and how and why we are able to build so high. There is a rich history behind the buildings you see and visit during your NYC field trip. From the Beaux-Arts style of the first skyscraper, the Flat Iron, to the Art Deco marvels of the Empire State, Rockefeller plaza and the Chrysler buildings to the modern and post modern structures. Lipstick building anyone?
So make sure to try something different on your next educational tour or class field trip to NYC.
Now we are looking forward to 2014. Spring may be three seasons away and yet August / September is the best time to start planning a student group class trip.
GO TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS – $1,000
Earn a $500 GO Travel Scholarship just for booking a trip: Book any student group tour within North America by September 15th and receive a $500 travel scholarship for your group to reduce the price of their trip for the students.
For a group of 40 student this means a savings of over $10 per student.
Earn a $1,000 GO Travel Scholarship: Simply refer any other educator, organizer or colleagues to GO Educational Tours and when they book their travel you’ll receive an additional Travel Scholarship of $1,000 for your student trip.*
Chattanooga is a great small town with plenty to see and do: from Ruby falls to Lookout Mountain to the Tennessee Aquarium it is well worth the detour. Combine this destination for your class trip with Nashville or Atlanta.
Our newest program features none other than the Music City itself. Combine a side trip to Chattanooga to see Ruby Falls and the Tennessee Aquarium or add a night or two in Atlanta.
A 3 day/2-night trip with 48 students and 4 complimentary chaperones starts at only $277 per student.
** The GO Travel Scholarship is applicable at the moment we receive the initial non refundable deposit
** The GO Travel Scholarship does not have a monetary value and cannot be exchanged. It can only be applied against a future qualifying tour to be booked this year or the next. However, you may transfer the GO Travel Scholarship to a school you know travelling with GO.
Chattanooga, Tennessee: The Union’s Launch Pad for its Invasion of Georgia
By 1864, the country had been awash in blood for three years, and after 350,000 casualties to that point, the war seemed as if it would never end. Support for the war by northern citizens was waning, there had been draft riots in New York City in July of 1863, northern newspapers mocked Lincoln with unflattering caricatures in cartoons, and Lincoln’s former head of the Union Army, Gen. George McClellan, was running against him for presidency. Lincoln had fired McClellan, one of five generals he replaced, two months after the Battle of Antietam for failing to pursue Lee and finish him.
Lincoln’s relationship with McClellan was strained from the outset. One time, Lincoln went to visit McClellan at a house where he was staying, and arriving early, Lincoln waited for McClellan in the living room. When McClellan arrived, he glanced at Lincoln in silence and walked right past Lincoln, up the stairs to his bedroom. After fifteen minutes, Lincoln sent a staff member to check on McClellan, who returned to tell Lincoln that the general had gone to sleep. The presidential election was approaching, his opponent was his former commander George McClellan, and Lincoln needed a big victory on the battlefield or he may lose office.
Personalities played a pivotal role in how the war unfolded, and much can be learned about combat leadership during the Civil War that can be relevant to leadership in private and public sector organizations in modern times. During our student group tours of Civil War battlefields, or sites embroiled in the conflict such as Atlanta and Charleston, we present both Northern and Southern perspectives on the war, and delve into how leaders’ personalities played an important role in the war’s outcome. Offering detailed anecdotes during student tours of Civil War Battlefields or Atlanta, Charleston, or Chattanooga can enliven the discussion and put a human face on history, making the learning experience more indelible.
Although the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee had dominated in the war’s Eastern Theater, General Ulysses S. Grant had quietly been winning in the Western Theater, particularly in Tennessee, which did not receive as much press back East because it was further away from more populous Eastern cities. East Coast newspaper readers did not care so much about what was going on in Tennessee, and its strategic importance was not appreciated. Much was at stake, however. Controlling the Tennessee River and rail routes would inflate the impact of the Naval blockade off the east coast, choking off southern supplies.
In October and November of 1863, Confederates and Yankees fought a series of battles called “The Chattanooga Campaign”, each side jockeying for position around the area. Union forces had retreated to the Chattanooga area after being defeated badly at Chickamauga, but Union supplies were choked off by Confederates who held the surrounding area. Within days of Grant’s arrival in October, the situation began to change dramatically. Federal troops opened a supply route, nicknamed the “Cracker Line,” from Bridgeport, Alabama. Union Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, arrived from Vicksburg, MS, with 20,000 men in mid-November.
To be continued in Part II…Sherman, like Grant, was an odd character and an unlikely leader
Interested in joining us during the 150th reunion of the Civil War to celebrate Lincoln’s service to our country? Some of our Civil War related destinations for middle and high school student group tours are Gettysburg, PA and Antietam, MD (combined with a Washington, DC trip), Atlanta, GA (combined with Chattanooga, TN), and Charleston, SC. If there is another Civil War destination of interest, we also customize tours as requested.
When you are planning your next educational tour or day trip to Washington DC it is normal to want to do the standard visits of all the institutions like the Capitol, see the White House and take a group picture, the Jefferson, Lincoln, MLK and FDR Memorials and Arlington Cemetery too. But here are some different things to see in Washington DC you might want to check-out and remember on your next tour or day field trip to Washington DC:
When you visit the National Cathedral , the second largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, built in traditional fashion, stone upon stone with no steel reinforcements and of course hand carved gargoyles. They are worth seeing and in fact you should try to
Darth Vader Gargoyle at the National Cathedral
find a very specific one which is very modern: one gargoyle is actually Darth Vader’s mask! If you get a tour inside do not forget to see the stained glass window that includes a moon rock from the Apollo 11 Mission.
The most dominant feature on the Washington DC skyline is the Washington Monument. Measuring 555 and 5 and one eight of an inch high it marks the unofficial center of the city. You might notice something peculiar about the monument: (insert pic here).
Washington DC Washington Monument
The color of the stone changes about a third of the way up. Local tour guides might entice with stories of floods (they are kidding it’s to get your attention) Construction of the monument started in 1848. It was interrupted in 1854 for lack of funds as it was originally privately financed and then the Civil War further delayed construction and it only resumed in 1874 to be completed in 1888. At the time it was the highest structure in the world. The different colored stone is attributed to the fact the quarry where the initial stone was carved was no longer available after the civil war. Stone from a quarry in Massachusetts was used but it was found to be deeply streaked and another quarry near the other original one was found and it was used to complete the towering Obelisk.
Kilroy was here
The most curious mark your students on your class field trip to Washington DC might like to find is the one known as ‘Kilroy Was Here’. This most unusual carving is discretely hidden on the World War II Memorial . When you visit the memorial dedicated to the 405,399 men and women killed and lost during this great war, look for the doodle as it was said many servicemen would doodle the very noticeable cartoonish character as they re-captured Allied territory. The mark became legendary. The Germans even thought it was a deep hidden code as it was found on captured equipment.
So make sure to keep your eyes open on your next educational tour or class field trip to Washington DC.
Field trips are great travel options for classes, schools and groups, whether you’re able to travel overnight or just go for the day. GO Educational Tours has designed some very creative programs in order to maximize your time at the destination while getting the most out of your activities.
Times Square New York City
Make New York City yours for a day; make it a field trip about science, the arts or a general sampler where you and your class or group can discover a little bit of New York in one day.
Science field trip to New York City
For example, you could choose the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum, the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Math as a science themed day.
Arts field trip to New York City
Perhaps the arts are more your thing; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and the MoMA can fill your day. And should the performing arts be the focus of your trip then you can enjoy a very good tour of the Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall and then maybe catch a matinee or even a evening Broadway show.
General Cultural field trip to New York City
The discover New York in a day is another option: Depart early from your city, arrive in Manhattan with your field trip group to catch the Staten Island ferry to get a view of the Statue of Liberty, then a deli lunch near the World Trade Center 911 Memorial, a subway ride to Times Square for an orientation walk and exploration of this well known intersection to finish your class trip by taking in the best view in the city from the Top of the Rock Observatory 70 stories up at Rockefeller Plaza.
Tell us what you wish to see and we will build the appropriate itinerary.
Travelling by motor coach offers a lot of flexibility and options for your field trip. Each program can be extended into the evening if you wish to catch a Broadway Show like Spider-man or Wicked. In order to do this we can organize for your motor coach to get his DOT rest time at a hotel in NJ. This way he can be well rested for the return home. Most shows finish between 10-1030pm and if you are within 200 miles you would be back by 1-200am.
Select one of the above programs or simply create your own.
A typical day on middle and high school student tours
The first morning of a tour I always made it a point of going around the bus learning the names of each student.It was important for me to hear what the students were looking forward to seeing and expecting on their tour. It sets the expectations and reminds us why we do what we do.
It’s a good icebreaker but it made me aware of the expectations of the students and the anticipation that has been building, in many cases for several months, for the trip.
New York City Times Square
The students were often looking forward to seeing little details beyond the obvious sights and attractions. I used that as further motivation to give them more.
Sharing the stories about the past and present of a destination is easy enough but making interesting to the kids is another.
I made it a challenge to connect various themes during a presentation. This would help them see how many aspects are intertwined like the simple topic of yellow cabs in New York. It becomes a spiel about daily routines, economics, geography, transportation and many other points.
The average cab fare is about $7-9, there are 12 779 ( Taxicab factbook 2006 , Schaller Consult. com )- cabs were responsible for 470 000 trips per day in 2006 Taxicabs in the city, a taxi medallion in Manhattan is worth nearly a million dollarsand people can take out mortgages on them as they are business licenses that generate income.
Looking at the cost of car ownership in Manhattan and just the cost of monthly parking and how it affects consumer behaviour and how that impacts the economy. If you live in Manhattan the cost of car ownership comes with a great additional cost of parking at home and if you ‘commute’ within Manhattan, the cost of parking at work. add to that that the insurance rates must be outrageous too. Add the fact you may not want to drive in the city and risk scratching your car in the dense traffic.
Now add up all of these tangible costs against the cost of taking daily cabs and subway rides and you actually save a few dollars.
You work 20 days a month, a monthly subway pass is about $120 based on four 7 day passes at $29 and supplemented with a few cabs rides and you rent a car on a few week ends a year. You can get around Manhattan efficiently pretty cheaply
Strangely enough when I tell people that Manhattan city life is very intimate because it has many small neighborhoods. Because most residents do not have a car, the services are close. Grocery shopping is close by, the pharmacy, the dry cleaners, restaurants and shops are all nearby. So whether you leave on the upper-east side or Hell’s kitchen, or So-Ho and other districts, you can be sure to find convenient stores and services nearby that don’t require long commutes but most likely short walks.
It is also part of the reason Central Park and the other parks are so busy on week ends. Those who wish to leave the city on weekends can either rent a car or stay in the city and do their outdoorsy stuff in the park.
So using the yellow cabs to anchor a presentation, we can elaborate on so many topics there are interrelated and helps the students better understand the place they are visiting.
– urban development
– social sciences
– math, and so on have been discussed to various degrees.
The students relate more to the discussion and are more engaged which in turn they will bring back these bits of information with them.
A GO Leader is selected from the ranks of education and other academic departments because we want our GLs to have the ability to connect these themes and concepts and be able to share them in an organized and structured way so it is easy for the students to understand.
Making history fun might seem challenging but in fact when stories are well structured and presented they draw in your student audience in and get them to want to know more.
We have one priority at GO Educational Tours – it is the students and their travel experience. We train our GO Leaders to be student focused to continually enrich their educational travel experience .
Our itineraries are well balanced. We don’t try to fit everything in a few days to justify the cost. An overwhelming schedule can be counter productive and the retention factor lower as students go through attractions and information fatigue. It has been our experience that most tours return with a lower satisfaction rate when too many sites and attractions have been scheduled. The pace of a tour should be good enough to avoid lulls and optimize transit time while taking into consideration the personality of the student group.
GO Educational Tours New York City Student Trips
One thing we like to avoid is to have to leave a site or attraction when the students’ interest is fully engaged. Let’s say your on a student group tour to Washington DC, for example, there is a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery is it worth rushing to the next appointment? Or staying to observe? Sometimes its best to stay and live that moment and then our GO Leaders will adapt the schedule to the changing timing.
Is it worth cutting time at the Jefferson Memorial to get to the next memorial? Having that flexibility and adaptability on your educational tour is key to a successful class trip. It makes sense and it is very appreciated. Having tour leaders with this dedication, awareness and attention on a trip can make a very big difference.
Whether you are on an educational tour or a class field trip to New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Montreal or Quebec City an itinerary is created to make sure the tour is conducted at a comfortable pace and also to get as much as possible from the tour.
We keep this in mind and it is part of our training for our GO Leaders: adaptability, flexibility and understanding all for the benefit of the students- it is the students’ tour after all. We train our leaders to give their all and especially to smile at all times.
After all the secret to a great middle and high school trip starts with a smile.
Creating Memories on Educational Tours to New York City
Organizing the best educational tour for your student requires carefully selecting your tour company. GO Educational Tours is dedicated to the success of each tour as we value and respect the travel experience of student travelers often times their first.
For example we had a great travel weekend last week to New York City with a group of students. What is the most satisfying part of organizing middle and high school educational tours for students is knowing you are part of creating lasting memories for young travelers.
GO Educational Tours Leaders
This tour to New York was a great example. A group of students from Grand Bahamas going to spend 5 days in New York City, the Big Apple. A great opportunity on this educational trip to create memorable moments. Starting with a blank canvas we could build our tableau of souvenirs from the very moment the student group got there. Right from the start the idea would be to make sure they were immersed in the contrast big city life offered over island life.
Arriving in JFK we collected the student group on our motorcoach and the drive into the city was a great opportunity to connect them with the city. We talked about Verrazano, Hudson, the Dutch, New Amsterdam and how it was renamed in honor of the Duke of York when he seized the island of Manhattan in 1664. The history and characters were introduced and would be referred to when they took a city tour with a local guide.
On the shuttle to New York City
The yellow cabs – so many and why they are such a force economically and how they affect the socio economics of the city; from car ownership, public transportation, economics, and how despite being a megalopolis, it is still a very intimate city of neighborhoods.
We talked about steam from the NYSC manholes, the trap doors on the streets, the fire escapes on the front of the buildings and other aspects so unique to the city.
Covered the safety aspects of walking in the city as a group of students on an educational tour – vigilance, watching over your money, and the buddy system.
Once in the heart of the city we started right away with a walk and discovery of Times Square to get a late afternoon snack and also to stretch the legs after a long morning of air travel.
Student group at the Top of the Rock
Then we walked a bit more to take in the sight, sounds and smell of New York. No educational tours can be complete without walking the city. It is the best way to discover New York on any student tour and wearing comfortable shoes is important.
Especially for this group from the Bahamas. It was an opportunity for them to get a complete contrast from the quiet beat and rhythm they are used to. What they discovered was he hustle and bustle, noise, speed and dynamic vibe of the city are unavoidable and they were quickly immersed in the city’s action on the first day.
The first activity was to go to the TOP of the Rock at Rockefeller Plaza. All student group tours love the experience and we prefer it to the Empire State. The observatory is vast and allows a great panoramic view of the city and the Empire State Building. Here the students also see some of the other prominent buildings of the city; from the Freedom Tower, CitiGroup and Sony building and of course the Chrysler building.
Then after a quick walk back to Times Square to get a group meal at the Hard Rock Cafe to complete the evening.
Abraham Lincoln and his army commander: what were they talking about?
Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln”, starring Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, was a long time coming. Period movies bring history and historical figures back to life, just as we of GO Educational Tours achieve when educating our student group tours. I may be biased as a Civil War historian, but the 150th anniversary of each battle fought during the war is ongoing, and we are currently organizing student tour groups for trips to several Civil War sites, including viewing some live battle reenactments. To learn more about Lincoln and the Civil War, please click below for a program of student group tours.
Lincoln is still on record as the tallest president in US history, and when he visited camps, his eyes were instantly drawn to any soldier who was remotely his height. Hoping to finally meet his match, Lincoln would call the fellow over, and the President of the US and the common soldier would stand back to back to see who was taller. Lincoln enjoyed being photographed with his soldiers, but was none too pleased during this meeting.
This photo is of Abraham Lincoln and his commander in chief, Gen. George McClellan, a month after the brutal battle of Antietam fought on September 17, 1862 a mile from Sharpsburg, Maryland. There were 22,000 casualties, nearly 28% of those engaged, the most casualties in a single day in US history.
Although Gettysburg has received more attention, particularly because of the Gettysburg address, Antietam was equidistant with D.C., and its carnage was alarming to the president. Lincoln’s disappointment in McClellan is palpable in this photo, as he dressed down McClellan for failing to pursue Lee’s army and crush it. McClellan was beloved by his soldiers, and he followed a strategy of loss prevention, however at the expense of inflicting maximum damage on the enemy. A month after this photo, after the important mid-term elections and the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves, Lincoln relieved McClellan of command for failing to pursue Lee across the Potomac and finish him.
Maryland’s allegiance was split, half were pro slavery, half were abolitionist. In Sharpsburg, the postmaster would change the flag outside the post office according to who was riding into town that day. A proper analysis of the Battle of Antietam begins with the terrain. The Antietam Battlefield, now a national military park, is a beautiful patch of rolling hills, corn fields, and a nearby river. It was this rolling landscape that obscured troop movement. Only fifty yards from your position, the enemy could be approaching, or entrenched, and you would not know it. Lee himself had to ride on his white horse “Traveler” up and down the field between the Piper House and the sunken road to gain a holistic view.
To illustrate the impact of topography, when the battle commenced at 5:30 AM, only the glistening bayonets reflecting the low horizon sun and state battle flags of advancing Confederates could be seen above the corn stalks. At “bloody lane”, still today a sunken road immortalized in the annals of history, wave after wave of Union troops advanced against Confederates entrenched in the sunken road, and Confederates would first see only the battle flags rising above the hill, as the brigade chaplain rode back and forth on his horse, giving last rites with a sweeping motion of his hand, oblivious to bullets zinging past his ears like mad hornets.
Antietam was tactically a draw, but a moral victory for the Union which inspired the timing for the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln had mixed feelings, however, because McClellan failed to capitalize on the opportunity to finish off Lee. Lincoln’s relationship with McClellan was strained from the outset. McClellan was contemptuous of Lincoln, but Lincoln had no choice early in the war but to choose a general who was most respected by his men. One time, Lincoln went to visit McClellan at a house where he was staying, and arriving early, Lincoln waited for McClellan in the living room. When McClellan arrived, he glanced at Lincoln in silence and walked right past Lincoln, up the stairs to his bedroom. After fifteen minutes, Lincoln sent a staff member to check on McClellan. The staffer returned two minutes later to inform Lincoln that the general had gone to sleep.
Lincoln hired and fired five commanders of the Army of the Potomac, which was the name of the federal force that fought in the Eastern Theater, before finally selecting the hero of the Western Theater, U.S. Grant, as head of the entire army.
Grant was humble, apolitical, and at the war’s onset, had washed up after a series of failed business ventures. Throughout the war, even after being named commander of the entire federal army, Grant dressed modestly and wore the pants of a private, his self-consciousness inflicted by an embarrassing experience when he was a young soldier serving at an outpost in the west. One morning, while walking into town neatly groomed and in uniform, a depot worker who had seen him pass into town every day mocked him by pinning a strip of cloth on each pant leg. In combat during the Civil War, not only as a grizzled veteran but also as a man who had already been brought to the brink of failure in civilian life, Grant offered a rare trait in a soldier- clarity of thought during utter chaos in the heat of battle, as if all the tribulations in his life had served in some twisted way to fatalistically prepare him for destiny.
The style of Grant’s autobiography reflects his modesty, it is somewhat stilted, written nearly in third person, and devoid of personal feelings. He wrote the book while dying of throat cancer, brought on by his taking to cigars sent as gifts by admirers during the war, which he smoked to soothe his nerves after a day of carnage. Grant did cry, he wept in his tent after the Battle of Shiloh, he was not unemotional and he loved his troops. Rather, he was very emotional yet contained his feelings because of his modest personality. When Grant was dying of throat cancer and began writing his book, he was dying broke after losing his savings in an ill-fated brokerage firm where his son worked, and whose partner embezzled. He wanted to ensure his family would be provided for after his death. The book became a best seller and raised several hundred thousand dollars for his family, equivalent to ten million dollars today.
By the end of the war, Lincoln’s appearance had aged considerably, and the emotional toll was etched on his forlorn face. One officer who saw him while addressing troops said he had the look of a clown, a sad clown’s face.
A few months before Lincoln’s assassination, an interesting twist of fate occurred. Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was at a New Jersey railroad station waiting on a train platform so crowded that he was wedged against the side of the stationary train. The train began to move, and Lincoln’s son began to fall in between two cars passing by. A hand grabbed his coat and pulled him to safety. The president’s son recognized the Good Samaritan’s face and thanked the famous actor for saving his life. That actor was Edwin Booth, the more famous brother of John Wilkes Booth.
When Lincoln died, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton said, “Now he belongs to the ages.” Lincoln died, but the nation was re-born.
Interested in joining us during the 150th reunion of the Civil War to celebrate Lincoln’s service to our country ? Some of our Civil War related destinations for middle and high school student group tours are Gettysburg, PA and Antietam, MD (combined with a Washington, DC trip), Atlanta, GA (combined with Chattanooga, TN), and Charleston, SC. If there is another Civil War destination of interest, we also customize tours as requested. Our tours are steeped in education, each trip is devoted to one or more academic disciplines, not just history, but also science, zoology, architecture, and others. We are not just a Civil War tour organization for students, although it is one of our specialties.
Start here with a free quote on a educational tour with your student group to Washington DC or Gettysburg.