[Opinion] Lack of school field trips deprive students of sociability and hands-on learning

Nicholas Zanetti, Writer

Starting in 2019, COVID-19 has had a continued significant impact on every aspect of our school systems, including going virtual, mask mandates and a lack of socialization. One of the more mundane aspects of the past couple years of “school” is the absence of field trips.

School field trips are an important part of public schools and are an essential learning tool. COVID-19 rules and regulations have restricted the youth of this country from attending field trips that past students have experienced and received hands-on learning from. This generation will inevitably feel the impact of hardly any field trips.

COVID-19 has not only reigned terror over all school extracurricular activities, but also our methods of learning. It has shut down sports events, terminated practices and canceled recitals all together. This is common knowledge. The lack of school field trips however is what slips under the radar.

School trips are essential to the development of a young mind, allowing for fun and interactive experiences at any age. The key word here is interactive. Ever since COVID-19 struck the United States, it has become harder than ever to protect students from viruses while also allowing for interactive, hands-on learning opportunities. One of the two had to be sacrificed. This previous year we picked the lesser of two evils.

Student stimulation is the most important utensil at our disposal. School field trips are a straightforward way to do just that. Traveling as a young student can enlighten and teach them a lot about the world around them while opening their minds to different ways of living, historical events and more. School trips develop passions, hobbies, and allow for a sense of wonder. Students in 2021 will be expected to have lower levels of enthusiasm for topics such as science or history.

Hands-on learning is essential to student growth. Online learning with no field trips did not allow for anything “hands-on”. The unknown loss of development from last year’s loss of learning is scary. This set back in the youth will take a long time to recover from.

People underestimate the importance of a trip to a place like the local museum. These experiences should never be taken from a child. Yes, it is a pandemic, and COVID-19 is dangerous but students should still get experiences that will stay with them forever.

Most of all, school trips allow for social growth in young students. With the pandemic ravaging schools and masks being mandated, people are becoming increasingly scared of talking to others and more antisocial.

Although for some, school field trips seem unnecessary, the lack of them impacts students in a larger way than anticipated. Students need social skills to thrive in and out of school settings and without school trips these abilities will not develop.

Schools need to implement field trips back into the regular course of learning. The void of hands-on and group learning will lead to a drastic decline in social skills and will become detrimental for years to come. The best way to let the youth recover is with school field trips.