The third-grade students in Genia Connell's class will go on a field trip to the American Museum of National History in New York City on Wednesday — virtually.
Thanks to Scholastic, the students will take an hourlong virtual tour of the museum as it's projected on the classroom smart board.
Connell said the virtual tour is being integrated into her social studies curriculum since students are learning about the northeast region of the country. In November, the students went on a virtual tour of the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts.
"They get as excited about (virtual tours) as they do going on a real field trip," Connell said. "They really look forward to them."
Scholastic started offering the virtual tours in 2009 to help school districts, such as Troy, that have cut down on the number of field trips because of budget cuts and the rising cost of busing, spokeswoman Alexandra Wladich said.
"It’s a really good tool that teachers have been turning to because virtual field trips are free," Wladich said.
Children's book author Brian Selznick will lead the tour, Wladich said. The tour will take students through exhibits of the Wolf Diorama, the Ahnighito Meteorite, the Giant Anopheles Mosquito and more.
According to Scholastic, about 600,000 students have viewed the museum's virtual tour to date. Scholastic also provides online activities and lesson plans for teachers.
Connell said she plans to take students on Scholastic's virtual tour of Ellis Island in New York in March.
Take the tour by clicking here: A tour of the American Museum of National History with Brian Selznick.
Correction: Scholastic started offering the virtual tours in 2009.