Taking the classroom on the road

Kennedy Elementary students take educational trip to Lansing

MANISTEE — Everyone knows that school budgets are strapped to the maximum and field trips for many classes have become a thing of the past, but the fifth grade students of Linda Diesing’s at Kennedy Elementary are living proof of the old saying, “where there is a will, there is a way.”

Members of Linda Diesing’s class gather around the state seal in one of the government buildings they visited in Lansing. (Courtesy photo)

No trip to Lansing is complete without a stop at the Country Buffet restaurant for a good meal. It has been a tradition for the entire eight years they have been doing the trip, and this year wasn’t any exception.
It proved to be a trip that was fun and educational all rolled into one, and a tradition that Diesing said she would like to see continue well into the future.
Diesing’s class begins a process every year where they start raising money in the fall for an annual trip to Lansing. Over the course of the year through bottle blitzes, pizza coupon sales and book sales they were able raise $2,000. The Kennedy teacher has it down to a science and the students work hard throughout the year to raise the necessary funds to visit the state capital, and other points of interest in Lansing.“This is the eighth year that we have been doing this, and we stayed at Perry Elementary School again with Kathryn Bailey’s class,” said Diesing. “They come back up here every year to visit White Pine Village and things in this area.”Diesing’s students said they enjoy the experience of staying at Perry Elementary School and said they were treated very well by their Perry counterparts. They are given a pizza party in the evening and pancake breakfast the next morning.“We sleep on the library floor and play both inside and outside,” said student Trinity Davis.Fellow student Taylor Wendt agreed, and said they made some new friends in the process.“They were real nice, and they all waved to us when it came time to leave,” said Wendt.Although the trip is fun for the students, it is wrapped around many educational components. Stops at the Michigan History Museum, the Impressions Five Science Museum, the state judicial building and state capital give the students ample opportunity to learn about history, government, and science.One of the first stops the students made was at the Michigan Historical Museum where they took a step back in time. One of the highlights was seeing the giant Silas Overpack wheels that were built in Manistee during the lumber era to help with the logging industry.Other points of interest that the students enjoyed at the museum were a Native American exhibit and one on the B 17 bombers from World War II that were created in Willow Run. They also enjoyed the things they saw from the copper industry that took place in the Upper Peninsula.Students also made the trip to the judicial building where the Michigan Supreme Court meets, so they could gain an understanding of the way the judicial system works in this state. Another educational aspect was a trip to the capital, but it occurred at a time when the legislature wasn’t in session.“We were disappointed that they weren’t there, but we still had the chance to look around,” said Diesing.The Impressions Five Science Museum really stimulated the young minds about the many wonders of science. It was probably the most fun part of the trip for the students, as they literally had a hair raising experience at one point in a static electricity display. Students hear the history of the giant Silas Overpack logging wheels that had their start in Manistee’s logging industry.

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