An elephant at the Oakland Zoo.
An elephant at the Oakland Zoo.
Sam Nguyen

College Field Trip to the Zoo

Colleges have field trips af- ter all. This spring Bridge to College hosted by the Youth Enrichment Program (YEP) offered courses for Mt. Eden students participate in classes to get ready for college. Anthropology was offered to students and covers the biological and physical evolution of humans from a single-celled organism to now. As part of the class that visited the Oakland Zoo on April 29, an early Saturday class was never more productive.

The bus took us to the Oakland Zoo where we officially met our teacher, Professor Barajas, and toured around learning about our ancestors—the different primates. With this visual and interactive learning, students were able to focus, ask questions, and enjoy the wildlife, which is not a typical experience in college and high school classes.

Mt. Eden sophomore Ruby Fernandez shared her experience from this trip: “The field trip was really fun! We were able to learn for the first few hours of the trip about the animals that led to us humans and then we were able to explore the zoo.” When asked if she would want to see more field trips in her college years, she stated, “I do hope for more field trips in college. They provide a better learning experience as they provide visuals of the topics learned in class.”

Students had a fantastic time seeing the animals, learning about them, and better understanding human nature through our ancestors. Everyone should take anthropology to better understand their psyche and characteristics. It was a nice sunny day, a perfect day to walk around, and organizations were out, such as environmental conservation groups who were quizzing passers-by on their knowledge and handing out prizes. One of the prizes was native plant seeds of your choice, such as California Poppy seeds.

Students should have field trip opportunities such as this in their classes. The student is able to incorporate what they’ve learned in the classroom outside of it in the natural world. Students are able to better understand the information at hand when it is visually in front of them. The experience also keeps the students focused as they are moving and outside their house or a typical environ- ment where they can become easily distracted. Trips better connect the students with each other and the teacher as well. As a Zoom class, we all were able to officially meet and discuss the class together. The social interaction positively benefited the learning experience.

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