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Seventh Graders Enjoy Great Variety in Trip to Philadelphia

Kirstin Rogers and Tanda Tucker

Seventh graders enjoyed three busy days in Philadelphia, a new destination this year for their class trip. They were accompanied by chaperones Kirstin Rogers, Tanda Tucker, Ian McElroy and Mike Howell.

The trip began with a tour of Battleship New Jersey, our nation’s most decorated battleship. Students boarded the ship and got to explore the Captain’s Cabin, the bridge, and the communications room, as well as sleeping and living quarters for enlisted men. They also learned about the role Battleship NJ played in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf learn about signaling with flags or Morse Code as well as have lunch with a US Veteran. They asked questions about where and when he served and even got some interesting details about boot camp. 

Next, the group visited Philadelphia Magic Gardens, an art gallery and outdoor space celebrating the mosaic artwork of Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar and folk art across the Americas. Students explored the outdoor garden maze, examined portraiture mosaic with museum staff, and took a walking tour of Philly’s Old City to view Zagar’s art on buildings and city sidewalks. Highlights included a building covered in a mosaic representing a circus. 

The students and chaperones ended the night with a trip for an iconic Philadelphia meal - cheesesteaks at Sonny’s Famous Steaks! 

On Thursday, they embarked on a busy day of sightseeing. After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, the group set off for the Liberty Bell Center and the Independence National Park Visitor’s Center. Students enjoyed listening to the history of the Liberty Bell with a park ranger and exploring the ways in which the Bell has become a symbol of freedom and liberty for protest movements throughout America’s history. 

They spent the rest of the morning exploring the National Constitution Center. In addition to lots of time exploring the museum, which invites visitors to touch and interact with exhibits detailing the Constitution and Bill of Rights on our daily lives, they enjoyed a live performance of Freedom Rising, a show which describes the impact and importance of the Constitution on our lives. The group also enjoyed a break with a fantastic lunch of sandwiches and giant cookies before moving on. 

After lunch, they headed to the Museum of the American Revolution and enjoyed a special viewing of Washington’s Tent, which features the 300-year-old tent General George Washington used for the entirety of the Revolutionary war, and a guided tour of the museum’s exhibits, featuring many “witness artifacts” - items present during the events of the Revolution. They ended the touring day with a visit to the Benjamin Franklin Museum, a hands-on interactive museum about the life of the citizen-scientist and politician Benjamin Franklin. All in all, the students and chaperones walked 10 full miles during a busy day of exploration! 

On Thursday night, they had a special dinner and night of fun enjoying games and activities at Dave and Buster’s. Students had an absolute blast earning tokens, shooting hoops, and choosing prizes for an awesome endcap to the trip. 

They wrapped up the trip on Friday with an exciting visit to the Franklin Institute. Students explored the many interactive exhibits, taking in an air show, climbing through a giant model of a human heart, explored the ways in which our brain works - and how it sometimes tricks us - and tested their skills in the Sports Zone. 

Overall, it was an amazing, and incredibly busy, trip.