Field trips have always been part of the extracurricular school activities. In the sad years of Covid, we had to postpone any activity that could expose us to the invisible danger and protect us. Since 2022, field trips have been returning to the annual school calendar and, every semester, we have tracked more schools participating in these rich experiences.

At Museum of the Bible, we want to collaborate with schools and teachers to make their field trips an immersive experience aligned with curriculum. We believe that it takes a lot of effort to take students out of the school for a day and especially for a few days. When we welcome a school at the museum, we believe that the minimum we need to provide is an unforgettable moment where they will immerse themselves in an experience that will help them to advance their understanding about a subject that they are familiar, that they have been studying, that this new exposure to the subject will build a bridge and a new learning path. 

To create an immersive experience aligned with curriculum, our museum educators connect with the school educators who will lead the group (teachers or curriculum coordinators) to understand who the group is (age, grade, number of participants, chaperones, how much time they will spend in the museum) and what they are studying during the time of the visit. This information helps us to identify which program will benefit the group best and, in discussion with the school educators, we propose an agenda for the visit where the group will be guided by our museum educator who already knows where the group is in their learning process about the subject matter that she will approach during the visit.

We call our field trips Education Programs because we organize it based on curriculum, learning goals and strategies, educational tools and resources for teachers and students. While still in school, the preparation for the education program starts. We collaborate with the school educators by sending pre-program activities to warm up the students to come to the museum and to motivate them to participate during the visit. During the visit, students are encouraged to participate from the welcoming moment to the end of the immersive experience. Before ending the education program, the school educator(s) assess how the experience was for the students and if we achieved the learning goals. When the group is back in their school, our museum educator sends the post-program activities with resources for the teachers and students to continue learning and approaching the experience they had in the museum.

The Education Department on Museum of the Bible achieves maximum engagement with the Bible by layering five universal principles throughout our programs, and we utilize assessments to ensure their alignment to these five principles:

Relevance: Programs are tailored to specific audiences, targeting their interests and shared experiences. Learners interact with material that relates to their daily lives while also understanding it within a broader context: global impact.

Contextual Learning: Programs support interactive discussions and hands-on activities that develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Dialogue: Programs promote interaction with learners rather than lecture-style learning. Conversations between educators and learners allow for active participation in the learning experience.

Transformative Understanding: Programs expose learners to life experiences, cultural norms, and perspectives different from their own. Interaction with other worldviews ignites new concepts and understanding to support academic and social development.

Lifelong Learning: Programs enhance individual curiosity and motivation to learn. Participants are encouraged to continue learning and enhancing their knowledge about the subjects presented. 

Our definition of engagement is unique since we are a museum, a place that aims to enhance curiosity. For us, engagement is the ability to activate and captivate learners’ mental, physical, and emotional learning centers through programs that immerse people of all ages into the history and stories of the Bible, provide historic and present-day examples of its relevance, and motivate lifelong learning. We have expanded our Education Programs in the last four years to offer immersive experiences that maximize engagement based on the five principles. 

Our programs are designed for all age groups, including teachers. In 2024, we are offering two opportunities for teachers to immerse themselves in the themes of the museum, participating in the Education Programs and expanding their understanding of how Museum Education can be intertwined with Curriculum:

The Night at the Museum Education Program is a new opportunity for visitors to explore the museum after hours, guided by museum educators.

The Educators Conference which will be held on July 26-28 2024 with a focus on Archaeology and the Bible. At the conference, teachers will dig deep into the worlds of archaeology, history and the Bible by 1) constructing understandings of the processes embraced by archaeologists and historians; 2) exploring ways to equip and empower students to consider context, examine artifacts with purpose, and gather records and voices from a range of sources and voices, and 3) discovering the power of wonder and imagination for bringing content and context alive in the classroom through using biblical, archaeological and historical data.

Museum of the Bible is an education destination for field trips where the school educators participate in the whole experience collaborating with us to make sure our museum educator intertwines our Education Programs with School Curriculum. 

We look forward to having your school here in Washington DC!