Field trips going extinct?
From left, Hanna Sarajian, Gia Alamanza and Grace Pak learn about force and motion by working on a ski ramp made of foam rubber at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. At a time of shrinking school budgets and increased emphasis on standardized testing, field trips are becoming increasingly rare, according to educators and site operators. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Dustin Cooper and Gia Almanza poke around the Dino Quest exhibit. Field trip coordinators, school principals and teachers attribute the decline of such trips to increased classroom hours devoted to the high-stakes English and math testing required by the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as budget cuts. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Maria Islan gets her hands on a dinosaur skull at the science center. A 2007 survey of 400 teachers across the nation revealed that nearly two-thirds reported field trips had been reduced from their school budgets. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
Science demonstrator Priscilla Amezola shows children from various elementary schools how to build a ramp using foam, tape and a marble. In an effort to draw more students, the science center has redesigned its exhibits to emphasize its link to California science standards that dictate what concepts must be taught at each grade level. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)