• Students arriving at the California Academy of Sciences
    Google Field Trip Days: Oakland Unified School District students arriving by bus
  • Penguin feeding show
    Students engaged in a Spanish-Bilingual penguin feeding show
  • students eating lunch
    Free and healthy lunch for all!
  • Students observing docent
    Exploring exhibits with Docent materials

The Academy hosts thousands of students from Oakland Unified School District!

Google Field Trips kick-off science learning for the school year!

To kick-off the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, 100 classes from 15 schools public schools from Oakland Unified School District participated in Google Field Trips! With generous funding from Google, these special events include free admission, complimentary bus transportation, and healthy lunches for all kids and chaperones who attend! Additionally, these events help the Academy reach towards our goal of creating science learning opportunities for all students in the Bay Area.

Science learning is important for everyone. The relevant, real-life skills that people develop when learning science help make everyone better problem-solvers and citizens. Events such as these help teachers connect their students with opportunities to learn science in larger context, which is important because just like learning another language, science fluency requires immersive learning opportunities.

A teacher from Grass Valley Elementary shared about the importance in this way: “I work diligently to expose my students to the science NGSS standards, but I cannot give them the hands-on experiences and real exhibits and observations that they experienced at the CA Academy of Science!

Additionally, a teacher from Bella Vista Elementary said, “Many of my students only think of science as things they see in text books. It was amazing that they learn how ALL life are comprised of cells.

Highlights from the field trips

Classes explored the Rainforest, Aquarium, and African Hall. Groups took time to stop by docent carts and partake in public presentations, such our Coral Reef dive show. For two days Academy’s Penguins feeding and Coral Reef dive show were Spanish bilingual programs.

As one teacher from Melrose Leadership Academy mentioned,

This was the first time most of my students have been to a museum. When we walked in, they stopped under the dinosaur and really were amazed as they looked around. It was silent. No small feat for a middle school class.

One kid said, [Maestra, cómo se dice Whoa! en inglés?] "Teacher, how do you say whoa! in English?" Then, they all started writing what they observed and their thoughts and questions about it.”

Classrooms connected virtually before the field trip

Cow Nose Ray

To prepare students for their immersive learning field trip, Academy educators connected virtually with students throughout the district in a Distance Learning program called Sharks, Rays and Their Lagoon. During the 60 minute program, 3rd–8th graders used the Academy lagoon exhibit web camera to make observations and create an investigation about why the sharks and rays survive in a lagoon ecosystem.

Throughout the investigation, teachers and students wrote in a chat box to communicate students' ideas and observations, asking questions as appropriate and citing evidence for their claims. In this way, the programs facilitated cross-classroom learning, providing a unique opportunity for students to grapple together with understanding scientific concepts even when they are in different schools.

Which public schools in Oakland attended this October 2016?

On October 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 we welcome 3rd-8th graders from Oakland Unified School District. Listed in alphabetical order, schools in attendance included:

  • Bella Vista
  • Bret Harte Middle School
  • Bridges Academy
  • Community United Elementary
  • East Oakland Pride
  • Esperanza Elementary
  • Futures
  • Global Family
  • Grass Valley
  • International Community
  • Laurel Elementary School
  • Melrose Leadership Academy
  • Roosevelt Middle School
  • Think College Now
  • Westlake Middle School

Teachers have a lot to say!

Here are some additional comments about the success of Google Field Trip Days:

I have been trying to attend CA Academy of Science for the last few years. Unfortunately, funding was not available for the bus even though I was willing to pay for admission with my own money. Many of my students have never even crossed the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. The excitement of attending a science-based field trip, plus the trip into SF, and then, the many exhibits created memories that will last a lifetime. I work diligently to expose my students to the science NGSS standards, but I cannot give them the hands-on experiences and real exhibits and observations that they experienced at the CA Academy of Science!

- Grass Valley Elementary

My students really enjoyed the several people who were around the museum doing small experiments. In particular, there was a woman showing different mixtures that changed colors and a man who showed my students several fish in jars.

-3rd grade class

Words cannot express how thankful I am for this experience! My students were thrilled beyond belief! On top of that, we were treated so well. The pictures and lunches were incredible!!!!!! The willingness by staff to meet our needs for a student in a wheelchair was wonderful! Thanks for making our students feel special!

-Grass Valley Elementary

Thanks to our sponsor at Google

Google logo

Overall, Google Field Trip Days for October 2016 served more than 2,700 students and 470 adult chaperones, providing an unbelievable experience for thousands of Oakland residents.

Thanks to Google for the gift!

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