What’s the difference between reading about history in a text book and actually observing it in person? A Queen’s Grant Community School student answered that question by saying: the smell. Eighth-grade students traveled to Washington, D.C. to learn, explore, and reflect on some historic moments in time.

In February, students spent three days touring our nation’s capital keeping a full itinerary to make sure they took advantage of as many educational opportunities as possible. The students toured the White House, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, visited the Holocaust Museum, Capitol Building, National Cathedral, Mount Vernon, and the Smithsonian—just to name a few educational activities.

The field trip coincided with Black History Month and created a profound moment as students viewed the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. “I thought it was really cool to stand on the spot where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech,” said student Leah Renn.

Student Matt Pierson said the tour of the Holocaust Museum made the biggest impression on him. “With reading all the books and everything we’ve done in class, you don’t really get the true feeling of what really went on,” Pierson said. “Seeing all the stuff there—especially the shoes because you could smell them—you felt what it was like to be a Jewish person going through that experience.”

“My favorite part was the Cathedral,” student Ben Campbell said. “I liked the Gothic-style architecture and the detail of the building.”

Teacher Melissa Carpenter said the visit is a wonderful culminating field trip as the students bring their Queen’s Grant years to a close. “Each year, the D.C. trip is one of our students’ favorite memories of their years here,” Carpenter said.