A total of 29 Lee’s Summit R-7 middle-school students participated in an approximately one-week educational tour of France, Switzerland and Germany during early June. Students traveling were from Bernard Campbell Middle School and Summit Lakes Middle School with a group of teachers from both schools organizing the trip.
Families of the students participating pay for the students’ travel. The group was accompanied by 12 parents and six teachers from the two middle schools.
The educational goals of the tour focused on history, culture, language and travel skills. “Rather than read about it in a book, the students we able to see first-hand where major historical events took place,” said David Beal, BCMS teacher. “They learned about the French Revolution, Napoleon, World War I and World War II. History came to life on the trip.”
Students were immersed in the cultures of France, Switzerland and Germany. While in the Louvre Museum, they saw some of the most famous works of European art. They were able to compare architectural styles after touring cathedrals and palaces in the three countries.
Students enjoyed typical breakfasts, lunches and suppers from each country. Additionally, they learned about banking, driving, political and environmental rules.
The sponsors were very proud when the students used their limited knowledge of French or German to order their meals and talk in the hotels. The students noted how much they were able to read on signs, in brochures and on museum labels. They also commented how they had struck up conversations with people, but especially liked talking to small children in the target language.
The final educational goal emphasized travel skills.
“We felt we were successful in teaching these skills, since no one in the group got lost, lost any money or passports or was hurt,” added Mr. Beal “The students also learned how to work the Parisian subway system and how to ride it safely.”
Trip sponsors were Jamie Hatfield, Cathy Nalivaiko, David Beal and Mark Hatfield, BCMS, and Cindy Vernon and Bonnie Stevens, SLMS.