Ball State's Electronic Field Trip Season Kicks off in Grand Teton National Park

MUNCIE, Ind. - Millions of children from around the world will take part in a field trip to Grand Teton National Park at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 16 — without ever leaving the comfort of their classrooms.

Thanks to an innovative partnership between Ball State University, the National Park Foundation and Best Buy Children's Foundation, students in grades 3-8 in 48 states, Canada, Australia and Switzerland, will participate in the Electronic Field Trip. While on the virtual journey, they will learn lessons in geography, science, social studies and technology as they study the Grand Tetons ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them.

Students from Burris Laboratory School in Muncie and Journeys School in Jackson, Wyo., will be on the ground in the Grand Tetons, reporting live to children around the world. The live streaming of this fascinating and informative Electronic Field Trip, "Tails from the Tetons," will help children — many of whom live in densely populated cities — understand the importance of preserving the country's vast natural resources.

"Since 1996, Ball State has contributed both technology and talent to the Electronic Field Trip program, working alongside the National Park Foundation in bringing the majesty, wonder and rich history of our country's natural and cultural landmarks to children around the world," said Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora. "We are pleased to continue this educational partnership benefiting so many young students, who might otherwise never have an opportunity to experience these exciting and important sites."

During the 60-minute live broadcast, students will have the chance to call in or e-mail questions to park rangers and other show experts, making this a truly interactive experience.

"Our parks are an invaluable resource, for Americans of all ages to experience, learn from and enjoy," said Vin Cipolla, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "This virtual field trip teaches our children about one of America's most stunning landmarks."

This virtual trip to the Grand Tetons is being offered in conjunction with the first-ever National Park Foundation's "Leadership Summit on Partnership and Philanthropy," taking place Oct. 14-16 at the University of Texas at Austin.

Many local PBS stations will air the broadcast live, but classrooms nationwide can also access the broadcast, as well as archived shows, on Ball State's EFT Web site www.bsu.edu/eft and on Apple's Learning Interchange Web site http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali.

Other 2007-08 field trips will cover:

  • Dec. 4: The Little Rock Nine (grades 7-12)
  • Feb. 26, 2008: Migratory patterns and dangers faced by gray whales (grades 3-8)
  • April 1, 2008: Smithsonian Kite Festival/study of wind & weather (grades K-5)

Source: BSU News Center