Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Field Trip!

Today was the big day--the culmination of the space unit, the big 5th week field trip to Udvar-Hazy!  Rain was forcast, and it did indeed rain.  In Biblical proportions.  We all met at the church and got kids whose moms weren't going, into cars that were going (HUGE thanks to Karen, who organized the carpools!).  By the end of this, Karen and I were like drowned rats, LOL.  But we got everyone sorted out, nametags handed out, etc, and we made it over to the museum right on time.  Bob took the day off, so he was able to go too, which was a huge help.

The 1-4th graders had learning labs run by the staff at Udvar-Hazy the first hour.  The 5-6th graders went through the museum doing a scavenger hunt activity (again, HUGE thanks to Karen, who made that up--everyone liked it!).  The K-4 and K-5 went up to the observation tower and watched the airplanes take off and land at Dulles until their space-themed storytime at 10:30. 

At 11:00, the 5-6th graders had their learning lab, and the other grades all did the scavenger hunt.  I did not assign myself a group when I was organizing everyone, so I was able to walk around accosting groups with random pieces of information gathered from my years of being an Air Force daughter/wife/mother of a space-loving child.  I even discovered some interesting new things--such as, one of the items to find was a "party suit".  When I found it, I was surprised to see that it was worn by a member of the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, the "Cotton Pickers", which was my dad's squadron when we were stationed in Okinawa!  In case you don't know, a "party suit" is a cheesy one-piece outfit worn to the bar, with the person's name embroidered on the pocket.  I tried diligently to find a good picture of this gem online, but to no avail.  I don't think my dad ever had one, since he didn't go to the bar after missions.  Whew!

Anyhow, it seemed like everyone had fun.  I am so glad it's all over!  No one got lost, LOL.  I am still perturbed about the parking situation there.  They charge $15 per vehicle to park unless it is a "commercial van or larger".  We had two magnetic signs, which we put on our van, and one other big van, but everyone else had to pay.  It seems like a homeschool co-op whose members are going to educational activities put on by the museum should not have to pay.  And indeed, the lady in charge of education said we shouldn't have to pay!  But this is a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand does, because the confirmation email she herself sent out said very clearly, "Please note that all visitors to the Udvar-Hazy Center will be charged $15 per vehicle for entry through the parking gates. Exempted vehicles are school buses, tour buses, motor coaches, mini-buses, or commuter buses, which all must be clearly identified with a prominently displayed logo in order to qualify for the fee exemption.  And when I called the front desk to ask, they were very firm about only letting big vans or larger with signs in for free.  Grrr.  Your tax dollars, well . . . not really working for you, anyway.  But other than that expensive bit of hassle, everything went fine.  And now that is off my plate!  I'm off to work on biology for Thursday, since we again didn't meet today (I just taught memory work and life science this afternoon).

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