About 50 second-grade students from Roberto Clemente Elementary Charter School (RCECS) came to Penn State Lehigh Valley on May 12 for a half-day field trip. Beginning last year, each RCECS classroom was adopted by a local college or university. Penn State Lehigh Valley adopted the second-grade class. The field trip was a continuation of this multifaceted partnership.
In preparing for the visit, one of the RCECS teachers shared that her student had asked, “What is a campus?” When Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley, welcomed the students she explained what a campus is and got them excited for the activities ahead of them.
A Beam telepresence robot made it possible for RCECS Principal Alyssa Newman, who was back at the school, to speak to the students as their field trip got underway.
Students then broke up into four groups and visited the different workshops across campus. In the Multimedia Innovation Center, students learned about news production, were shown how a green screen works and got to see themselves on TV.
“This is the first time many of the kids were exposed to this kind of media technology like a green screen. All of my students were very intrigued by it; they don’t all have access to technology,” said Luis Vargas, one of the second-grade teachers from RCECS. “The students remember when Penn State Lehigh Valley faculty, staff and students came to visit us and they were excited to come visit them and see what a college campus is like.”
Students also learned about the creative ways to use robots from a Penn State Lehigh Valley physics instructor and even did a conga line with the LEGO robots. When the students visited the Ronald K. De Long Art Gallery, they learned about the current Plastic Wrapping exhibit and then created their own form of Pop art using plastic bubble wrap. The students then ventured outside to get their photos taken with the Nittany Lion and to play yard games.
On their way to the various sessions, the second-grade students stopped in to visit Ana Serrano’s Spanish class to say, “Buenos Dias” and show the college students how to converse fluently in Spanish.
As the field trip wrapped, Berkey Creamery ice cream was served to the students and gift bags featuring Penn State items were handed out as a memento of the children’s’ first trip to a college campus.
"We want to continue be a resource and a partner for RCECS in helping to address the barriers to educational success,” said Richardson. “The field trip is one part of exposing children at a young age to higher education and showing them that with hard work and perseverance, college is possible for everyone."
Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley