At Busch Gardens, education is a thrill ride

03/21/2011
Field Trip Fun

Flip everything you know about learning upside down. Because when you bring your students to Busch Gardens, they get to explore a world of science, math, technology and engineering from a completely fresh perspective. Whether you’re experiencing momentum on our exciting roller coasters, meeting amazing animals up close, or discovering a taste of a foreign country at our European-themed park, Busch Gardens is a fun, hands-on learning adventure for kids of all ages. image

We’ve turned our four world-class roller coasters into classrooms — where scientific principles like gravity, acceleration and energy come racing to life. We’ve mounted accelerometers on two thrill rides and all of our roller coasters, so students can measure g-forces and then experience it for themselves.

Msuka, an African Hedgehog at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, is one of several animal ambassadors that help Busch Gardens’ team of animal experts educate the public about wildlife conservation. © 2010 SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

 

Discover Galileo’s idea of free fall as you achieve weightlessness on Griffon’s 90-degree drop. And don’t forget to test Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity on our brand new Mäch Tower, where riders climb more than 240 feet only to plunge toward the ground at a breathtaking speed. It’s a gripping way to get students excited about science while learning about career opportunities, roller coaster design and development.

Busch Gardens has joined together with NASA to create several popular educational programs, including our Funky Physics Show geared toward students in middle school through college. Led by Tidewater Community College physics professor Dr. Wright and his crew of motion maniacs, this high-energy hip-hop show is a live demonstration of the many principles of physics that can be found in our theme park. In 2011, our Funky Physics show is scheduled for April 29; May 6, 13, 20, 27; and June 3 and 10. Come out and watch Busch Gardens transform into the mid-Atlantic’s biggest and best physics laboratory.

Experience X-Treme Physics, the top-notch educational program that takes place during our regular operating season (from March to October). Designed for students in sixth grade and higher, your students can experiment on Busch Gardens’ incredible roller coasters, studying forces like momentum, acceleration and g-force. Comprehensive teacher workbooks are also available, with a variety of activities and curriculum that can be taught in the park as well as in the classroom. It’s a great way to expand your experience, turning a daylong field trip into a full range of engaging lesson plans.

Busch Gardens is also known for our environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation efforts, and as a result, an amazing variety of incredible animals call our theme park home. Students of all ages will love meeting new animal friends — from the cheerful chirps of colorful birds in our free-flight Lorikeet Glen aviary, to the awe-inspiring bald eagles at Eagle Ridge, to the majestic gray wolves in Wolf Valley. They can even see endangered and exotic animals — and learn more about the important roles they play in the animal kingdom — at Jack Hanna’s Wild Reserve.

Ellie, a Common Two-Toed Sloth at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, is one of several animal ambassadors that help Busch Gardens’ team of animal experts educate the public about wildlife conservation. © 2010 SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

 

For teachers and students who want to learn even more about animals, our Animal Tours offer a field trip adventure you’ll never forget. (Additional fee is involved.) Choose our Animals Up-Close tour and go behind the scenes with Busch Gardens’ zoological team as they introduce you to a few of our animal ambassadors — like Mtoro the African serval, Pindari the wallaroo, Ellie the sloth or Titan the alligator. As you meet these incredible creatures face to face, you’ll learn more about animal habitats and the importance of protecting them through conservation efforts. Our experts can even tell you about steps you can take to help save animals from around the world.

Or choose our Clydesdales and Collies Up-Close tour and discover what life is like for the animals of our Highland Stable. Located in the Scotland area of the park, this wonderful stable is your chance to learn more about centuries-old Scottish traditions like hunting and herding. Get up close with our Scottish Blackface sheep, our friendly border collies, and everyone’s favorite gentle giants - the beautiful Clydesdales.

Adana, a red-ruffed lemur, explores her habitat at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Adana and her sister Akisa are the newest additions to the Busch Gardens’ animal family. © 2010 SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

 

And if your students are in need of a truly howling good time, discover the magical world of wolves in our Wolf Training Up-Close tour. It’s a fascinating way to learn about techniques and behavioral principles used to train wolves, while also finding out more about their habitat, their pack mentality, and their irreplaceable role in the wild. No matter which Animal Insider tour you choose, it’s an unforgettable learning opportunity.

If you’re looking for a student adventure that’s as fun as it is educational, come to Busch Gardens. With more than 100 acres of beautiful European-themed landscaping — plus world-class roller coasters, more than 50 rides and attractions, live stage shows and delicious dining — our theme park brings learning to life.

For more information, including a complete operating schedule, visit buschgardens.com/va or call 800-343-7946.
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Issue 19.1 | Summer 2017

Southeast Education Network

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