Classroom on Wheels
All aboard to D.C.


Bright-eyed at 5:30 a.m., eighth-graders board the bus.

Carley Stelmack

C. Stelmack

On Wednesday Oct. 1, Kings Junior High eighth graders embarked on their annual Washington D.C. trip. According to 8th-grade Social Studies teacher Bret Allen, this has been an ongoing tradition at Kings for about 20 years now.

On a cool and dark fall morning, students arrived at the junior high early in order to board buses and depart at around 5:30 a.m. They were scheduled to arrive in D.C. by 5 p.m. This year, about 280 students will be traveling, along with 29 adult chaperones.

New this year is the chance for students to stop and see the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania. Flight 93 was one of the jetliners hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, but before it could reach its target in D.C., passengers stormed the cockpit and caused the plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania.

The sacrifice of these passengers has become a part of American history.

The school aims to incorporate educational value into the trip, and link what students have been learning in class to what they will see in D.C.

“We do lots of research prior to going to enrich the trip,” said Allen.

Students are required to present a project on many of the different sites they will see while in D.C. Allen said some students will also teach their classmates about the Flight 93 National Memorial.

“ I want to learn more about it (Flight 93), since I’m doing a project on it. But I also want to get to do more things in D.C.,” said 8th-grader Sophie Zaso.

This year the group should have no trouble touring the capital. Last year, however, things were a bit more difficult. The field trip arrived in D.C. right in the middle of a government shutdown, and most popular tourist sites were closed to the public.

Allen said last year’s crew had to get a bit more creative to make the trip worthwhile.DCtrip1

“It was very good, minus the weather,” he said. “We went to some museums that you had to pay for and even met with a congressman.”

Students will have the chance to visit a variety of different monuments, memorials, museums, and much more. Some of the different sites they will see include the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Just before embarking Wednesday, eighth-grader Camryn Hoelle said she’s very excited to see what she has been learning about in class.

“We have been learning about all the different memorials and some events that happened in history and we are going to get to see them in person ” she said.

The group is scheduled to return on Saturday.

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