Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, traditional field trip visits to the world-class educational, art and cultural institutions in Western New York will not be possible during the 2020-2021 school year. To help alleviate the disappointment of local students and to add some normalcy to their unusual school year, AT&T, in collaboration with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Museum of Science, Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, The Buffalo History Museum and the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center have created the AT&T Virtual Field Trips program. This program will allow tens of thousands of students to experience free virtual field trips throughout Buffalo and Niagara Falls in a memorable, fun and safe way.
The AT&T Virtual Field Trips program provides both prerecorded videos and live virtual leader-led tours. Some of the programs offer downloadable materials for teachers and interactive kits for students. The program is designed to provide a wide array of offerings tailored for students of different ages, ranging from 1st through 12th grades. To help eliminate economic barriers and to foster inclusion, this unique program is provided free of charge for all students and classes that attend Buffalo or Niagara Falls public or charter schools and Western New York Title 1 schools. This program is made possible by a $75,000 contribution from AT&T and the generosity of the partnering cultural and educational institutions.
The Buffalo History Museum offers tours recommended for students in 4th through 6th grades. Each virtual field trip includes a live Zoom tour of two current exhibits with a member of the Museum’s education team. Tours must be booked in advance. The Buffalo History Museum has been Western New York’s premier historical organization since 1862. The history of Western New York is filled with stories of diverse people striving to create a place that they can call home. Stories brewing with ingenuity and hope, but fraught with struggle and conflict. The virtual tour will bring the past to life in a personal way-through intimate narratives of everyday people and key historical figures and provide participants opportunities to engage with real artifacts and primary sources, while connecting with subject matter experts to access unique resources of the museum.
Great art is transformational. The Albright-Knox invites teachers and students to join us for virtual experiences designed to support the development of the critical and creative thinkers of tomorrow. Opportunities include live virtual guided tours and pre-recorded videos that will serve as a teaching resource to focus on critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Students will discover works of art from the Albright-Knox’s collection and exhibitions through a range of learning strategies, including open-ended and guided questions, conversation, and activities.
The authentic stories shared at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center highlight the extraordinary results that are achieved when ordinary people stand against oppression. On a live virtual field trip, museum educators will connect with classrooms remotely in real time. During a facilitated, interactive program, students will learn the history of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls while engaging in dialogue that will help them recognize the modern injustices that stem from slavery and think critically about what steps they can take to create a more equitable, just, and free society.
The Buffalo Museum of Science is ready to bring the wonder and excitement of the Museum to virtual classrooms! The Museum’s experienced facilitators will bring a unique educational experience and scientific expertise to students and educators. Whether participants are looking for an eye-popping science demonstration or a Behind-the-Scenes virtual tour, students and teachers can customize programming to suit specific needs and grade level. If school district guidance allows, kits can also be assembled and delivered to schools to give students immersive, hands-on experiences.
Children of all ages learn through exploration and grow through creativity. In this spirit, Explore & More invites young learners — the innovators of tomorrow — to “Explore, and More!” Explore & More has created seven interactive videos that can be used together or individually by teachers. Each video includes a tour of one of the Educational Play Zones; a related activity and/or experiment that can easily be replicated by parents at home or teachers in school; and concludes by highlighting a STEM career. These tours are ideal for 3rd – 5th graders.
“As thousands of local students are either following a distance learning or hybrid model as a result of Covid-19, we are proud to help provide this opportunity and support educators who are keeping our students connected and to help ensure students aren’t deprived of the educational experience field trips to museums provide,” said Amy Kramer, New York President AT&T.