Experiential Learning and
WES Study Trips
All Covered by Tuition
WES students are on the move and getting hands-on experience each year! Students take study trips around the DC metro area, in the US, and abroad in Europe.
Whether the destination is around the beltway to feel the soft hair on a baby goat at the farm or to closely examine the 470 BC Greek fresco Diver's Tomb in Paestum, Italy, all of the senses are engaged. These first-hand experiences provide jumping off points for students to ask questions, read more, and to explore and embrace the world around them. Our extensive and unique study trips program involve students at every grade level.
Like so much at WES, one experience builds on another, exponentially increasing the benefits. So it is with the school's study trips which progress from fifth- through eighth-grade that our students travel to Civil War sites, the Desert Southwest, cross the ocean to tour Italy, and then conclude their adventures with a trip to France or Spain in Grade 8.
Grade 5 - Civil War in our Area (Overnight):
Fifth-graders take the first step with an overnight trip that includes the Civil War sites of Antietam and Harpers Ferry. Through reenactments and guest speakers, students experience the drama of the pivotal battles fought along Bloody Lane and at Burnside Bridge, Antietam landmarks. The second day, students tour Harpers Ferry to learn about John Brown's raid and the role this historic city played in the Civil War.
Grade 6 - Geology and History of the Desert Southwest (One Week):
WES sixth-grade students travel to the Desert Southwest to study geology, history, and Native American culture. Visits to Bryce and Zion National Parks give students field opportunities to apply their classroom knowledge of rock and water cycles as they observe the impact of weathering, erosion, and chemical change on this vast environment. Students also travel down the Colorado River, visit with Navajo Indians, and learn how Mormon pioneers settled this corner of the U.S.
Grade 7 - History and Culture of Italy (Ten Days):
Students experience Italian history and culture by visiting museums, historical landmarks, temples, churches, ruins, and other sites. Students see Greek temples in Paestum, investigate the ancient ruins of Pompeii, visit the Etruscan tombs of Tarquinia, explore several Umbrian hill towns, and visit many of the ancient sites in Rome. This 10-day trip to Italy provides culminating experiences in Geography, Latin, Art, Religion, and History.
Grade 8 - Present and Past in France and Spain (Two Weeks):
Several years of language study in either French or Spanish are put to use first as WES hosts students from France and Spain and then as our students participate in two-week, home stay trips to Paris or Granada. Guided by WES teachers during the day, students explore the history, art, and culture of these cities. Students complete a journal and sketchbook project to record what they see and learn. At night and on weekends they "live" the culture of their host countries by spending time with their French and Spanish "families."
Curious to read our blogs from these trips? See the News From Our Traveling Students for the trips to Italy, France, and Spain.