The field trip is the backbone of any space center. It is the reason for their existence. Teachers bring their students to enhance the learning that is taking place in the classroom. So what goes on in a field trip to the space center?
The first thing that happens actually takes place in the classroom. Before you fly off into space there is a lot of preparation that needs to take place so that the experience can be a success. Teachers will need to read the Mission Briefing with their students and select the crew positions. There are also lesson plans and activities that help lead up to the field trip for teachers to use, not to mention the great motivational tool that has now been given to the teacher as students performance, behavior, and class participation can determine positions or other rewards related to the field trip.
Once the fateful day arrives, it is time to board the bus and see how the students perform. At this point the class will have already been split into two groups. The first group will head directly into the simulator for nearly two hours of flight time. The other group will begin in the classroom and planetarium section of the field trip. After eating lunch the second group will trade places with the first and it will be their turn in the simulator. As the field trip comes to a close, it's time to load the bus full of energized students to head home and tell their tales of danger and exploration.