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June 23, 2005

2005-06 Electronic Field Trip Season

From: BSU - Jun 23, 2005

The National Captioning Institute federal grant has continued its funding of Ball State University's Electronic Field Trips.

Electronic Field Trips' new season has broadcasts with NASA, Carlsbad Caverns, more

MUNCIE, Ind. – This year's Electronic Field Trips will hit new highs — and lows, for that matter.

The field trips, developed by Ball State University's Teacher College and sponsored through a $750,000 grant from Best Buy Children's Foundation, will take millions of students on a nauseating but educational, zero-gravity ride on NASA's "vomit comet," down into the ink-black depths of Carlsbad Caverns, up into the trees at the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility in Washington state and down the boardwalk of Coney Island, N.Y., exploring the art of baseball.

"From flying high on NASA's C-9 to seeing the formations and all of the bats in Carlsbad Caverns — and everything in between — we're really covering a wide variety of amazing topics this year," said Mark Kornmann, director of Teachers College outreach services. "I can say with complete confidence that thanks to the help of our partners, no other organization comes close to offering this kind of programming and access on this scale."

The virtual field trips allow more than 15 million students, teachers and community members to visit museums and national parks and pose questions to scientists, artists, astronauts and Hall of Fame baseball players. Viewers can register to receive the broadcasts at

Here's the 2005-06 lineup:
"Just Where is that Zero-G Room?"— In conjunction with the "World Year of Physics," Ball State partnered with Space Center Houston to bring the weightless world into the classroom. Through the field trip, students will climb aboard NASA's C-9 and take a roller-coaster ride in the sky. Houston, Sept. 29

"Painting the Corners: Art and Inspiration"—The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will help students see the fine art of sports from advertising to motion pictures and from literature to pop music. Coney Island, N.Y., Oct. 18

"Tree-mendous Technology"—The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center will take students to the leafy heights of a forest canopy to show how the green ceiling absorbs sunlight and rain, provides habitat for many organisms and houses the machinery of photosynthesis. Carson, Wash., March 7, 2006

"Exploring Nature's Plumbing System: Caves of the National Park System"— Caves are much more than nature's plumbing system. They are sites of exploration, adventure, shelter and cutting-edge research. The National Parks Service will show off a handful of caves, including Carlsbad Caverns — the deepest limestone cave in the United States — and answer questions about stalactites, stalagmites and even cave bacon. Carlsbad, N.M., April 25, 2006

The Electronic Field Trip Web site is an integral part of these broadcasts. The site provides standards-based curriculum developed by teachers participating in the broadcasts. The lesson plans cover geography, math, writing, art and more.

During last year's season alone, the Web site earned four Telly Awards, four World Media Festival Intermedia Globe honors and other accolades in distance education. Even with all of that hardware, the award-winning Web site is due for a makeover, Kornmann said.

"By early July, the Web site will be even better," he said. "We're constantly receiving feedback from teachers, and we've taken those comments to make a site that is more interactive and has even more resources that teachers can incorporate into their classrooms."

One way to make the trips more interactive is via captioning. The field trips will have live captioning thanks to a National Captioning Institute federal grant.

Electronic Field Trip partners include the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; Space Center Houston/NASA; the National Park Foundation; Garfield and PAWS Inc.; the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; and five Smithsonian entities ─ The Environmental Research Center, National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, and National Museum of Natural History.


(Note to editors: For more information, contact Kornmann at (765) 285-8106 or For more stories, visit the Ball State University News Center at

Layne Cameron

Layne Cameron
Media Relations Manager
Ball State University
(765) 285-5953