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A Day In The Life
The Benefits

Wonder, Inquire & Discover - Field Study Program

The World is Your Classroom

A student can read about the American Revolution or watch a video about the ocean, but it does not have the same impact as seeing Colonial Williamsburg or enjoying the marvels snorkeling in Catalina. Our unique Field Studies program integrates academic content areas into a realistic approach to learning beyond the classroom environment. Through one-day field trips or weeklong field studies, students experience learning among a natural setting, reinforcing the concepts taught in the classroom. This program offers distinctive opportunities for observation, research and interaction all within native settings. Field studies build responsible and cooperative learning that occurs in real-world situations to provide academic enhancement while creating cultural awareness amidst historic and educational settings.

Required Field Studies Grades 4 - 8

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  • Grade 4: Sacramento, California

    Students embark on a field study to Sacramento, our State Capital, to reinforce the IB unit of inquiry “How We Organize Ourselves.” The central idea looks into natural resources, boomtowns, the discovery of precious minerals and the effect on the area and the people.  Students visit the Capitol Building, Sutter’s Fort, the California State Railroad Museum, and other historic sites, including a chance to explore mines of the Mother Lode and the original gold discovery site in Coloma.

  • Grade 5: Astro Camp in Idyllwild, California

    Students spend three days at Astro Camp focusing on various astronomy and physical science including rocketry, rock climbing, microgravity snorkeling and many other team building activities. The experience is designed to sharpen student interest in the scientific study of the universe and directly connects with the IB Unit of Inquiry on Space and Exploration.

  • Grade 6: Catalina Environmental Leadership Program in Catalina Island, California

    Every year, St. Mary’s Grade 6 students attend a four-day field study on Santa Catalina Island as part of their IB Unit of Inquiry: investigation into oceans. The journey to Howlands Landing includes the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program which provides our students with opportunities for marine and terrestrial field research. Rich program offerings like marine snorkeling, kayaking, investigating tide pools, hiking, researching in a kelp lab and composting help foster environmental stewardship, peer relationships, and self-confidence. 

  • Grade 7: Yosemite National Park

    Grade 7 Students spend a week experiencing the dramatic landscapes of Yosemite National Park under the guidance of the Nature Bridge at Yosemite Program. They explore the valley floor, wander through meadows and challenge themselves to reach the tops of waterfalls. In the process, connections are made across the curriculum including Life Science and Ecology, Cultural History, Literature, Current Environmental Issues, Art and Physical Endurance. 

  • Grade 8: Williamsburg, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    Grade 8 students finish their Middle Years Programme by exploring the earliest roots of our nation as they follow a historic trail from Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia to Washington, D.C. This trip presents a fascinating look at how America developed as a nation and ties into several units of inquiry as well as subject matter ranging from math to history to politics. 

Optional Field Study Grades 4-8

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  • Grades 4-8: New York City Field Study

    Students accompanied by a parent chaperone travel to the Big Apple to experience multiple cultural venues including the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum— where students take part in a hands-on workshop relevant to current featured exhibitions— and the Metropolitan Museum of Art where students visit galleries that highlight IB units of inquiry. Performing arts experiences include a night at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, contemporary dance or traditional ballet, and a Broadway show. Students also enjoy multicultural dining experiences, such as Sofrito, the Russian Tea Room, Café Un-Deux-Trois and Café Fierello. Travelers navigate the city on foot and by the subway and the bus systems.