Class trips provide our students the opportunity to make global connections through experiential learning outside of the classroom, all while making long-lasting memories with their friends. Museums, cultural and neighborhood institutions and landmarks in Hoboken, Jersey City and New York are an integral part of our curricula, and another way that Stevens makes every learning moment count. Day trips and excursions, whether it is the 1st grade visit to the local stores and businesses to conduct observations and interviews, the 3rd/4th grade trips to the Museum of Chinese in America or Ellis Island, or the 7th grade trip to a local mosque, are always relevant and informative. Curators, art educators and guides often comment on the level of preparedness and engagement of Stevens classes, as well as the thoughtful questions students pose during out-of-the-classroom experiences.
Beginning in 3rd grade, our students enjoy overnight trips with their classmates. They gain a heightened sense of autonomy from being away from home while developing their social skills with their peers outside of the classroom. When traveling to different city-settings, they are able to apply their learning, questioning the world around them in real-time.
The roster of overnight trips that extend classroom learning includes:
Fairview Lake — This overnight trip for 3rd/4th grade classes is held each fall at Fairview Lake in Newton, N.J. Community building activities include a confidence course, boating, night hike and a campfire.
Stokes State Forest — 5th grade classes spend three days and two nights in the fall at Stokes State Forest in Sussex County. The environmental education program includes hiking up Sunrise Mountain, boating, fishing, team building activities, archery, metal-smithing and a challenge course.
Camp Mason — 6th grade classes spend two days and one night in the fall at Camp Mason, adjacent to the 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The outdoor education program includes forest ecology, archery, boating and ropes courses that nurture team building skills at the beginning of a new school year.
Boston — 6th grade classes travel to Boston for three days and two nights in the spring. Classes explore the city’s cultural and historic sites that may include the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard Museum of Natural Science, Boston Commons, Fenway Park and the Freedom Trail.
Ashokan Center — Each fall, the 7th grade classes spend three nights at the Ashokan Center, a working farm and environmental retreat in the Catskill Mountains. The school’s natural science curriculum is brought outdoors, and students engage in the study of water quality, forest ecology and work together to produce a sustainable “no waste” meal. Night vision walks, morning hikes, survival courses and blacksmithing enrich the four-day experience.
Philadelphia — The second trip of the year for 7th grade is a two day, one night trip to Philadelphia to explore the Constitution Center, the Eastern State Penitentiary, and the National Museum of American Jewish History.
Washington, D.C. — As part of the intensive study of U.S. government and history, 8th graders spend three nights in Washington D.C.. They visit the three branches of government including the White House, Supreme Court, and Congress, as well as taking a Monument Tour and a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Mexico City —Each winter, Stevens 8th grade students are matched with an 8th grade student from the Kipling School, a bilingual school in Mexico City. Our families host that student for a week - they attend classes at Stevens, take field trips into the city, and have an immersive academic and cultural experience.
Each spring, this is reciprocated with the warm hospitality from the Kipling families as our 8th graders immerse themselves in a unique cultural exchange that offers students an authentic international experience; they live with a Kipling host family for a week, attend school and social occasions, visit numerous cultural and historic sites and experience life outside the United States.
Long after they graduate, students describe the cultural exchange as a transformative experience that broadened their worldview. Some exchange partners form lasting friendships and revisit Mexico City or host their Mexican friends during their high school and college years. To read more about the exchange, visit the Mexico Blog.