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Purdue zipTrips deliver virtual field trips to students nationwide

August 19, 2014
Purdue zipTrips deliver science-based electronic field trips directly to students in Cathy Deford's

Cathy Deford takes her seventh-grade science students on a field trip to Purdue every year . . . without ever leaving her classroom.

Through the magic of technology, Purdue zipTrips connect middle-school students all over the country in real time with Purdue scientists doing cutting-edge research. With educational resources limited and field trip budgets slashed, this program provides free electronic field trips to engage students in learning about science and science careers. More than 470 schools with almost 14,000 students in 37 different states registered to participate in the 2011-2012 school year zipTrips.

Deford, a science teacher at Rossville Middle School in Rossville, Ind., has used zipTrips with her students since the program’s creation. “I would recommend teachers use zipTrips in the classroom because it is actually cost-efficient,” she says. ”It goes along with the curriculum, and it gets the students to see things they normally wouldn’t get to see and ask questions of experts in the field we wouldn’t normally have at our disposal.”

Purdue zipTrips are partially funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Partners include Purdue Agriculture, the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue, Information Technology at Purdue (IT@P) Multimedia Productions, Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System, and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations.

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