Science virtual tour1

Science Virtual Field Trip Reflection

Michelle L. Johnson

Ivy Tech Community College

INTASC Standard Page

Standard #3: Learning Environments

The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Name of Artifact: Virtual Field Trip, Science

Date: October 7, 2016

Course: Education 224; Multicultural Teaching

Brief Description:

In this document I am going to share my idea for a science base virtual field trip that I can take my future students on from the comforts of our classroom. I will explain my own experiences in taking this same tour, and my thoughts about it impact on the learning experience for the students.


To document my understanding of INTASC Standard #3: Learning Environments, I wrote my reflection on taking a virtual tour. My experience will show that the learning environment can be someplace other than the classroom without technology leaving the room itself. My reflection will share how providing students with the opportunity to interact and engage with other learners from across the world will opens up the learning potential to a whole new level of learning. As a teacher I can collaborate with other to present fun and positive learning opportunities, that student can get excited about.

Science Virtual Field Trip Reflection

The following is a reflection on a virtual field trip to the Weather Channel. This is a science based field trip that can be taken over a one-day activity or can be spread over a course of a week. This trip would be good to take during a unit on weather. It would give student a better understanding how weather is broadcasted and predicted. It can also answer any questions about the science behind weather, what category of science weather falls under, the technology used to study weather, and finally how the weather is broadcasted to our homes and now other mobile devices.


This is my reflection of a virtual field trip I took to experience what my possible adventure I could take my future students on. I took a trip to the Weather Chanel headquarters. This is where all the weather patterned, systems and anything else dealing with weather gets viewed interpreted and the relayed to the regions necessary to keep people safe, in our hemisphere on earth. They have people that risk their lives to chase and study severe weather so they can give accurate warnings and information to citizens across the country. They do this so we can be prepared for whatever weather may come along. I think this tour is important to go on so they can see how the weather is broadcasted and the importance of the weather channel to the public. The weather channel does not just show what is happening with the weather, they also have educational shows that teach us about different weather related topics. Yes, each city has local news stations that can relay weather information to it residents and can even predict upcoming weather events. The weather channel is more nationally based ad have several people monitoring weather across the nation including private/ regular people contribute information. A lot happens at the weather channel in order for accurate and up to date weather information can be delivered to people to

On the tour you will see the behind the scene actions and working parts that make the broadcast possible. The host take you on a tour of the studio, talk about different things the meteorologist does, and how they get the important information out to the public. Included in our journey they use example, such as the topic on tornados and share some excellent educational information about severe weather. They did experiments that gave viewer the opportunity to see the information in action and create a better understanding of what they learned. The host do a good job of putting the viewer in the driver set. Seat. They even had an interactive section which allowed classrooms to ask questions as they were moving along the tour. I really liked this because it was as though you were physically taking the tour.

Information gathered from the note questions.

The name of the virtual field trip was Connect with Weather: A virtual field trip video with Meteorologist Mark Elliot. This Field trip is one of many that Discovery Education has created to teach eager students about various science topics. Mark Elliot is a meteorologist, who works at the Weather Channel Studios in Atlanta Georgia. This tour features Elliot in his work place at the weather channel studios. Where he guides and introduces the view to the inner working of the studio and how they get the necessary information to the right people. Knowing the weather channel plays an important role in getting critical weather information out to the public, so people can stay safe during time of severe weather this would be a good tour to take young students on. Although, any age/grade level could benefit from this experience I believe that any grade above fourth grade would be able to understand and reflect on the knowledge gained from this adventure. In some science classes units are designed around weather and climate, and its impact on the planet. These are usually unit is upper more advances science classes. Students can learn how information is gathered and then delivered to the viewing public. In this day and age weather/climate is constantly changing, it is the job of a meteorologist to study these patterns and inform on what to be expected. Severe weather like tornados, hurricane and severe thunderstorms can cause a lot of damage and even death. With the expert knowledge people like meteorologist warning can be issued that will allow people to find safe cover and prevent as much damage as possible.

Physical tour of place like the weather channel can be arranged. Most major cities have new stations of some kind that can offer tours that would provide the same information a student could get from the weather channel virtual tour, those tours take planning and time and sometimes even money. Which is great if the school has the budget for that. Let’s face facts though school budgets are not as flexible as they once were. Sites like Discovery Education offer virtual tours for free or low cost. Plus, with physical tour it often happens that not everyone can participate. Which in turn can cause other problems. It also sometimes happens a student is absent on trip day and they do not get to go, which mean they are losing out on learning something very interesting. With Virtual Field Trip/ Tours like the Connect with Weather, they can be accessed at any time. A student misses class the tour can be taken at home for home work. Yes, you can create pretend permission slips to make the whole field trip experience real, but in actuality you would have to hand out permission slips to be signed. More often than not students often get distracted and either forget to have the slips signed or they get lost. So as the teacher we/they have to keep reminding or following up with the parents and or student, this can become a hassle. There are other benefits to visiting places like the weather channel, like the visit can be taken over a course of a week (give or take a few days either way). This give students time to absorb and understand the information at a pace that works better for them. As seen on the video and mentioned multiple classroom can be involved in the experience at the same time, without the issue of over-crowding the studio and disrupting important work.

Summary:I found this virtual field trip to be both entertaining and informative. I did this from the comfort of my own home. I can only imagine the possibilities a teacher can have by implementing this tour and or other like it into their lesson plans. This type of technology allows for so many possibilities in teaching and learning to occur that were not even possible decades ago. Yes, there are local source teachers can use to get the same information across, but if the opportunity like virtual tours gives teacher more access to better resources, why not take advantage of that. The connect with weather is a fun and interesting tour that I recommend to any teacher who want to use it for a weather unit in science. I really like the interaction potential this tour offered as well. I learned and found so much information about this experience it is hard to express the full realm of my experience and thoughts on the adventure.

Notes on the virtual tour:

  1. Where did you take our field trip?

The Weather Channel

  1. What is the name of the Virtual Tour?
  2. What is the Website address for this Tour?
  1. Is there an actual location where one could take a physical tour? If so, where is it located?

This tour or field trip is off of the website Discovery Education. For schools in the Atlanta Georgia area it is possible for them to take a physical tour of the studio. For other schools the actual weather channel headquarters are out of reach per say but they could set up tours from local news stations that can provide the same kind of information about the weather and behind the scene actions of the studio.

  1. What age group/grade level is the Tour geared toward?

On the tour a sixth grade class was actually a part of the tour in a way. This was a sixth grade class based out of California connected via the internet. This tour is acceptable for all ages but upper elementary and above would be able to understand the tour more than the younger grade levels.

  1. What special features did this Tour offer?
  1. A tour of the studio with descriptions of each section/area and the purpose of the area.
  2. A mock segment about tornados was assembled as though the class was setting right there.
  3. Interaction with the views was made available, so any classroom or person watching could ask questions via a question/answer box or twitter.
  4. As questions were asked Mark Elliot and the host could address the questions. A classroom watching via the internet was also included.
  5. Student can see more clearly (without having to look over, around, or through other people)
  1. What are some of the benefits of taking this tour online?
  1. The Weather Channel is an excellent resource to use when learning about weather. Based out of Atlanta it is not possible for classrooms to get to visit such an important place concerning weather.
  2. This channel plays a big role in getting weather information delivered to millions of people at one time about serious need to know information that keeps people safe.
  3. Your experience isn’t just a tour of a facility it is an actual field trip, that doesn’t cost a dime doesn’t require scheduling our side the classroom so can be done at any time of year.
  4. All students can be involved. There is time when student can’t participate in the physical field trip for various reasons.
  5. Does it online allow all students to take the trip from the classroom or even their own home if necessary?
  6. Tours can be assigned for homework.
  7. Cost effective
  8. Tour control (a teacher can go back or forward in the tour to refresh important information
  1. How could this activity be used in the classroom?
  1. The field trip can be spread out over a course of several days and can also be patterned with other activities, writing assignments. In upper grade levels weather is discussed as a science topic. This would be a good tour during this topic.
  2. What kind of things were shared?
  1. What meteorologist are.
  2. How the weather is watched, studied, interpreted, and the relayed.
  3. How on air experts are kept up to date on incoming information.


Shep, K. (2013). Connect with weather virtual field trip. Retrieved from Discovery Education: