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Instructional Resources

Series Info

Episodes: 18

Length: 60 min.

Grade Levels:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Social Studies

Evaluation (PDF)
Web Resources

Ball State Electronic Field Trips (EFT)

Electronic Field Trips are a dynamic combination of live, interactive broadcasts and online curriculum. Developed by teachers and content experts, the curricula meets national teaching standards. Electronic field trips inspire children to explore new learning concepts and consider expanded career possibilities.
Plan ahead for each EFT by ordering free scholarship lesson plans and activities.

The field trips may be accessed live online. However, many schools find it easier to use a taped version to use with their classroom schedules. Instructional Resources will air a rebroadcast of the event within a few days to ensure timely use of the Web resources. Watch the Instructional Resources e-Newsletter for broadcast times and dates, record it, and put your students in touch with a great experience!

Get online activities and lesson plans Free!
Register in advance to begin a unit of study building up to a new field trip event or register for archive online resources and borrow the “past” field trip from the Instructional Resources Lending Library.

To register FREE simply go to the “Web resources” link on this page, click on “Register” and enter your contact information. Under the method of payment category, select the Best Buy Scholarship option. The passwords to materials will be sent to you free of charge. No school will be denied the scholarship, so take advantage of it now!

Episode Guide

1. Earth Day 2008: Turn Over A New Leaf — In celebration of Earth Day and National Park Week, the EFT team will be traveling to Everglades National Park in Florida for a special live Electronic Field Trip. This broadcast will look at native vs. invasive species, plant health and habitat restoration, and stewardship of our national parks. Students will also be challenged to “turn over a new leaf” and make a difference in their own communities. Earth Day is especially significant in the Everglades, where exotic (introduced, not native) species threaten to displace native plants and animals. Other effects of human interaction, such as pollution, will also be discussed. The message will not be negative, however. Students will be encouraged to think about positive ways that they can affect the environment, including planting native plant species, as they are doing in the Everglades. Kids will receive lots of great ideas for taking care of the earth, no matter where they live. (CC, #405) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

2. Buffalo Soldiers: African Americans in the Frontier Army — African Americans have served in the military since colonial times, but it wasn’t until 1866 that black men could enlist in the Regular Peacetime Army. Native Americans called these men “Buffalo Soldiers” because their hair resembled the matted cushion that is between the horns of the buffalo. This Electronic Field Trip, designed for grades 6-9, will originate from Fort Davis in Fort Davis, Texas. Fort Davis was a key post in the defense system of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico and was home to both black infantry and cavalry troops. Fort Davis, now a National Historic Site, is considered one of the best remaining examples of a post-Civil War military post in the American Southwest.   (#502) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)  

3. Baseball’s Greatest Hit: 100 Years of Musical History — This EFT will take a look at the timeless song, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer a century ago. Today, this song is synonymous with a baseball game’s seventh-inning stretch, but the song was actually written to be performed on home pianos and the vaudeville stage. This EFT is designed for students in grades 3-8 and will offer standards-based curriculum in language arts, music, history, and technology. (CC, #501) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

4. Listening to our Ancestors — This field trip begins at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. where students will learn about the native people who have lived on the lands and waterways along the North Pacific Coast for more than 10,000 years through songs, dance and ceremonies. These stories and traditions link the native people to the natural world in which they live and honor both their past and celebrate their present. The field trip also visits Juneau, Alaska where students learn about the abundance of the rich Alaskan environment, the importance of family in Alaska Native communities, and the significance of cultural expression through art, language, and traditional customs. Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian elders and traditional knowledge keepers will help expand students’ understanding of the vital history and vibrant cultures of the Native people of the North Pacific Coast-where everything tells a story!  (#305) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

5. Going, Going Faster: The Science of Speed! — This field trip visits the brickyard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana to explore Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion that states an object usually stays in motion with the same speed unless acted upon by an unbalanced force to answer the question, “How do those race cars go that fast?” The field trip looks at the fundamentals behind making a racecar take turns at 200 miles an hour, answering the questions: What do “minimizing time,” “finding the line,” “cornering,” and “braking” have to do with going faster? Students will have the opportunity to meet Indy and NASCAR drivers and follow them as they drive the race track and demonstrate Newton’s First Law. From the legendary oval track in Indianapolis, students will explore how technology is enhancing the ability to go faster and faster!  (#304) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

6. Freedom In America: Some Assembly Required — Learn about our nation’s firsts, as we make our first stop in historical Philadelphia! Find out what struggles our forefathers encountered during the difficult process of drafting the Declaration of Independence and learn more about those responsible for writing this famous document. You’ll also explore the story behind the Liberty Bell, which is an international symbol of freedom that, like our democracy, is fragile and imperfect, but still endures. Also, learn why it is considered an important U.S. artifact, and how it earned its celebrated crack. Enjoy free entry to the entire Independence National Historical Park with 21 historical sites available for fascinating tours. Pile on the train and let the EFT Express take you there! (Not CC, #301) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

7. Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire — Join the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the National Park Service for a sobering visit to the Manzanar War Relocation Center. This National Historic Site provides a compelling classroom to relive the experience of Japanese Americans held captive during World War II, as well as the plight of countless nationalities who face discrimination and intolerance still today. This is a tale of the indomitable Issei and Nisiei generations. Learn through the emotional memories of survivors, and the invincible cheers of detainees’ baseball games that still echo across the desert valley. (CC, #303) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

8. Eruption! An Island Rising From the Sea — Volcanoes created the island chain at least 70 million years ago, and continue to add land to the island of Hawaii today. On this stop, the EFT Express takes students to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, where they get to the chance to uncover the geology behind these fiery mountains and the biological and cultural history that surrounds them. (Not CC, #302) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

9. Exploring Nature’s Plumbing System: Caves of the National Park System — Discoveries made in caves offer us a glimpse into the past and the future and continue to lead us into future exploration. Through this electronic field trip featuring Carlsbad Caverns and other National Park caves, participants will explore and experience life below the surface to learn more about this fascinating ecosystem (including geologic processes, the “twilight” zone, value of water, historical uses, and animal adaptations to life without sunlight, such as fish).  (#204) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

10. Just Where is That Zero-G Room? — Fly inside NASA’s vomit comet, the C-9 plane that does a roller coaster ride in the sky, to see how the astronauts train and conduct experiments during this wild ride. Take an inside peek at weightless research, become a part of the experience and learn the importance of the research and the physics behind this incredible setting. (Not CC, #201) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

11. Painting the Corners: Art and Inspiration — Discover the fine art of sports through broad-brush strokes across the canvas of American culture. From advertising to motion-pictures and literature to pop music, ours is a nation endowed by an uncommon creativity found on the field of play. (Not CC, #202) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

12. Biological Invasion: The Introduction of Non-Native Species Worldwide — Investigates the causes and consequences of the arrival of organisms not native to America’s coastal waters. Students will join SERC researchers in the San Francisco Bay area to sample and study the foreign organisms found there – how they arrived, how they have adapted, and how they affect the overall ecosystem. Broadcast live from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. (Not CC, #107) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

13. Discovering Our American Spirit: Finding Common Ground in the American Pastime — Join students across the globe in a vintage game of Town Ball where every base represents moments or milestones in crafting a collective identity known as the American Spirit. From the melting pot to the meeting places of the 1800s, men and women, immigrants and Indians, people of all colors, come together to create a new game and a new nation at the same time. Broadcast live from the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, Cooperstown, NY. (CC, #106) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

14. Sharing Perspectives at the National Museum of the American Indian — Visits the National Museum of the American Indian – where stories are brought to life through dances, music, baskets, weavings and other objects of everyday and ceremonial use. The Museum’s Cultural Interpreters, representing a variety of Native American tribes, will each share stories from their own communities using objects, dance and music traditions. Broadcast live from the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC. (Not CC, #105) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

15. The Holocaust Museum Experience: Exploring Our Daily Decision Making — Explores the artifacts and stories in the Museum’s permanent exhibition, The Holocaust, to help students understand the Nazi rise to power and how countless individuals became the active participants in civil rights violations and mass murder. Through the lens of history, students will then be asked to explore the consequences of their own daily decision making, both on their immediate environment and the world at large. Broadcast live from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC. (CC, #104) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

16. Where Are All the Little Green Men? — Reveals what the discovery of ancient bodies of water means for the history of the Red Planet and our own. We may be closer than we think to finding the little green men! Broadcast live from Space Center Houston in Houston, Texas. (CC, #103) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

17. Into the Canyon — Takes students into the Grand Canyon National Park. This program focuses on one of the most studied geologic landscapes in the world. It offers an excellent record of two of the four eras of geological time, a rich and diverse fossil record, a vast array of geologic features and rock types, and numerous caves containing extensive and significant geological, pale ontological, archeological and biological resources. (Not CC, #101) (Only available through streaming on Ball State’s website)

18. Can Polar Bears be Saved? — Interact live with Dr. Steven Amstrup, the 2012 Indianapolis Prize recipient, who is universally regarded as one of the most influential scientists working on polar bear conservation today. Explore why polar bear habitat is disappearing, Amstrup’s incredible battle to help protect polar bears under the U. S. Endangered Species Act, and discover why he sacrificed his research career to help save these giants of the Arctic.

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