9 Best National Geographic Virtual Field Trips To Try Today

A field trip is one of the best things you can do with your school class, taking them out of the classroom and into the wider world, where your young students can learn all about fascinating people, places, history, and more.

9 Best National Geographic Virtual Field Trips To Try Today

However, your class is always going to be limited in where they can go on a field trip – there’s only so far you can usually travel!

So what can you do? National Geographic Virtual Field Trips are the answer.

National Geographic has been educating the world for 135 years and counting with their magazines, which take readers around the world and teach them about corners of civilization that they might otherwise never come across.

Their Virtual Field Trips series of videos takes that idea further, offering detailed videos of fascinating topics that will help transport young students to places they wouldn’t normally get to travel with regular field trips.

These Virtual Field Trips cover all sorts of areas, which can often make it difficult to narrow them down and find which is going to be best for your class. Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you instead!

In our educational guide below, we’ve got the 9 best National geographic Virtual Field Trips for you to try today with your young learners.

Whichever ones you pick from our list, your students are guaranteed to learn more about the world around them. Read on!

1. Virtual Field Trip – Black History Month

We’re beginning our list with National Geographic’s Virtual Field Trip all about Black History Month, an incredibly important time of observation that happens each year.

In the United States, it happens in the month of February, and the event has official recognition from the governments of those places.

Black History Month is a time to honor the triumphs of African Americans throughout US history, but also to focus on all the struggles and difficulties that African Americans have had to endure in that time – and still do.

As a result, it’s an always-important event that any young student should know about, and this Virtual Field Trip does a great job of educating.

The Trip begins with an education on Matthew Henson, an African American explorer who spent almost 23 years on seven different voyages to the Arctic with Robert Peary. 

After that, there’s a Pop Quiz to test what students have learned about Henson, before classes on Green Book, Katherine Johnson (an African American mathematician whose work was essential to NASA’s first crewed spaceflights), and Asha Stewart (a contemporary documenter of African American communities in America’s south).

2. Virtual Field Trip – Our Solar System And Beyond

There’s plenty to learn about our world, but it’s important not to forget that there’s an enormous solar system – and space – beyond our planet!

This Virtual Field Trip educates your school students all about such things, teaching them about various planets and more.

The Trip features informative interviews with an astrophysicist who is searching through the stars for distant planets, the creators of a new educational graphic of the solar system that you can find in National geographic magazine, and a non-profit organization founder who is making space more accessible to the youth.

The Trip also looks at “exoplanets”, which is the term given to any planet that exists beyond our solar system. 

3. Virtual Field Trip – Women Pushing Boundaries

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It’s always important to recognize the vital work of women in this world, just as much as the work of men is recognized.

This Virtual Field Trip puts the spotlight on a variety of incredible women who are consistently pushing boundaries, looking at four intrepid women explorers that are striving to make our world both better and more understood. 

Through this lens, the Field Trip looks at key issues like plastic pollution, which is an enormous problem facing the environment of our planet and our health.

While focusing on this, the Trip interviews Jenna Jambeck, the co-lead of the Sea to Source Plastic Expedition.

This expedition involves a female-led group of scientists who are traveling rivers to document how plastic waste can travel from its source to the sea, allowing us to better understand it and hopefully prevent it. 

The Field Trip also looks at women making other positive impacts on the environment, as well as advice for students and advice on what women have inspired these incredible women.

4. Virtual Field Trip – WILD Washington

Our next Virtual Field Trip pick takes things to Washington, D.C., one of the most prominent and important locations in the United States.

This educational video guide takes your students to the US capital to look at its wildlife and ecosystems, elements of the city that aren’t always thought about.

Ornithologist Pete Marra shows your students all about backyard birding, catching (in a gentle way!) some Washington birds, studying them, and helping them.

Meanwhile, Gabby Corradino, a biologist, collects plankton from the Anacostia River and tells your students the importance of these incredibly useful organisms.

Oh, and she shows your young learners how to find some themselves!

5. Virtual Field Trip – Native American Stories

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America has a difficult and unfortunate history with its indigenous inhabitants, the Native Americans, and it’s extremely important that any young learner knows all about the history of their country.

This National Geographic Virtual Field Trip educates your school students all about Native Americans, using invaluable insight from three different Native American storytellers speaking about their experiences.

The first of these Native Americans is a conservationist who is reinventing maps with the Zuni Map Art Project.

The Zuni were a group of Native American peoples and their maps referred to the locations of their origins and the locations they would visit, so they can tell us a lot about the past.

Meanwhile, the other segments of the Virtual Field Trip focus on a Native American photographer whose journalistic work is helping to challenge stereotypes and a 20 year old Native American artist who is looking at what it really means to be Indigenous in a world that is colonialist.

6. Virtual Field Trip – The Ocean

Around 71% of our entire planet’s surface is covered with water, with the Earth’s oceans holding around 96.5% of all of Earth’s water.

As you can see, the ocean is an incredibly important part of our planet, and yet it’s one that’s often overlooked in favor of land!

This Virtual Field Trip helps rectify that, education your school students about the watery wonders of our world.

In its first segment, explorer Brian Skerry teaches your young learners all about the history and culture of the ocean’s whales, showing what we can learn from them.

Meanwhile, explorer Salomé Buglass teaches all about remotely operated vehicles that help to give us astonishing views of seamounts (large landforms) in the Galápagos Islands.

Finally, a young explorer named Sruthi Gurudev talks about eco-journalism and the changes it provokes.

7. Virtual Field Trip – Exploring The Amazon

The Amazon rainforests are another massively important part of our planet that can’t be overlooked, and this Virtual Field trip educates your students all about this Brazilian rainforest that helps to stabilize our climate.

Once again, three different explorers teach us about different parts of the Amazon.

The first takes students on a hike through Peru’s forests to examine some Andean bears, while the second looks at coastal ecosystems, and the third takes your young learners bird-watching.

8. Virtual Field Trip – Revisiting History

This next Virtual Field Trip is a fantastic companion to the one on Black History Month, because it also focuses on difficult yet critical moments in United States history where there has been systemic racism towards Black communities.

It’s essential that these moments in history aren’t forgotten, so it’s useful for your students to learn about them.

Due to the nature of the Field Trip’s focus, it’s important to note that you should discuss the trip’s appropriateness with the students and their guardians.

It’s a Field Trip that discusses African slaves who were enslaved in the Americas, as well as racially-based violence that has gone on in the US.

9. Virtual Field Trip – The WHY Of WHERE

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Our final pick takes things back to Washington, D.C., educating your school students on the geography of the city. 

In the video, geographer Alex Tait takes you through Washington’s streets, showing how the city has evolved into what it is today.

Meanwhile, explorer Carter Clinton discusses the Underground Railroad, a network of routes and safe houses that African American slaves used to escape.

Clinton imagines what using this was like for the slaves, while also using DNA samples to examine who some of these slaves were.

Final Thoughts

National Geographic Virtual Field Trips help to take your school students far beyond the classroom, showing them all over the world – and even space, our solar system, and beyond.

They teach your students about essential geography, science, and history, covering a wide range of crucial subject matters.

Helena Waters

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