Fifth Grade Goes to College!

At the beginning of spring this year, the fifth grade students at Northridge had the privilege to go on a unique and meaningful field trip to the CU Boulder campus.  Prior to embarking on their field trip, students had discussions with their teachers and each other about their understanding of what a university was.  The were able to talk with a CU student , Mr. Matt, who worked with them every Tuesday on STEM activities about, what his experience was like.  Students also had lessons on an iPad app called "Notability" that they would be using to document their experience on the trip.

When students arrived at the CU Boulder campus, they immediately were taken to a building in the School of Engineering where they engaged in a design challenge to design a levee to help a town in danger of being flooded.  After collaborating on solutions with teams, students took a walk to the Center for Community (C4C) to have lunch.  Students were in awe of the many different restaurants in the building--and were more impressed by the "all you can eat" buffet style.  As they ate, students commented on the university students and what they were doing while there.  They noticed that college students talked, studied, and collaborated while they ate.  Northridge students took pictures with their iPads and took digital notes as they made their observations.

After lunch, students went on a tour of the campus.  They had the opportunity to see the CU football stadium, the library, the enormous recreation center, and they even got to tour a residence all (also known as a dormitory) to see what college life is like.  As with the C4C experience, students took many photos and took copious notes of their experience.

On the bus ride home, students could not contain their excitement about what they had seen and done.  Many of them were talking about their desire to attend college, even if it was not specifically CU Boulder.  Conversations could be heard in which students argued the benefits of becoming a civil engineer versus an environmental engineer.  The impact of the trip to CU Boulder is one they will not soon forget, and has made connections for students that quite possibly will impact their very future.