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February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans, so to encourage some fun, family-based movement, we have adapted one of the activities from Family Science to encourage an enjoyable way to get some exercise for your heart.

Supplies you may need:

  • local map or a mapping app on your phone
  • pencil
  • time schedules for transportation and any stores or facilities you may visit
  • calendar

What to do:

Your own community can be a great laboratory for science learning. A science field trip could be a visit to a science and technology museum, an industry tour, a trip to a local planetarium, or an outing to the county fair. Visiting various job sites shows the relevancy of science to our daily lives and increases the number of options for family trips. The goal with this activity is to find a place that you can walk, use public transportation or ride your bike to.

How to do it:

1)   Discuss places family members would like to visit as a science field trip. Look at the list below for ideas.

  • public service announcements or advertisements
  • radio or television programs
  • city guides or websites
  • teachers and/or school projects
  • science books or films
  • career guests that visited your school
  • nature groups
  • visitor information centers
  • other families

2)   Do some web-based research to find an option that you can reach with your own feet, by bike or in combination with public transportation.

3)   Talk over your ideas. Use the internet to gather additional information. Check the hours of operation, costs, route and other details to help focus your choice.

4)   Get out the calendar. Pick a day and time for a science field trip.

5)   Mark the field trip on your calendar. Post a list of things family members need to do before the trip.

6)   Talk over with your family what you would like to do when you reach your destination. Here are some activities to consider:

  • take a hike
  • schedule a tour
  • go behind the scenes
  • draw pictures
  • research information
  • write in your journal
  • collect samples (make sure this is within the rules of the place you are visiting!)
  • repair something
  • attend a meeting/presentation
  • watch an assembly process
  • listen to a lecture
  • go on a treasure hunt
  • take photographs
  • build something
  • take turns reading aloud
  • test materials
  • follow a map to key points
  • pretend you work there
  • collect data
  • follow a worker
  • take a class or workshop

7)   When you get back home, take some time to talk about your Family Science adventure! Here are a few questions to explore:

  • Where did you see science in your experience?
  • Did you talk with any scientists? What kinds of information did they share with you?
  • What was your favorite part of the experience?
  • Where do you want to go next?