Friday, December 6, 2013

Wolfe Street Students Take Virtual Field Trip to National Aquarium

Wolfe Street Academy 4th Graders Proudly Display their
National Council for International Visitors Gold Stars

Yesterday, fourth graders in Wolfe Street Academy's after-school program took a virtual field trip to the National Aquarium, courtesy of the U.S. Department of State, Google and the World Trade Center Institute.

Through Google's Virtual Field Trip program, students visited the National Aquarium's Animal Planet Australia exhibit and got an up-close look at a Monitor lizard, a Tawny Frogmouth and other animals.

National Aquarium educator Heather Doggett and General Curator Jack Cover fed bananas to giant Lungfish; explored the elements of a typical ecosystem found in the river gorges of Northern Australia; and fielded a variety of student questions. For many of the students, this was the first time they had ever visited the National Aquarium.

More than 200 representatives at a U.S. Department of State-sponsored workshop tuned in for this field trip to see how Google Hangouts might be used to facilitate virtual exchange opportunities for foreign professionals and leaders. These virtual exchanges would enhance the traditional exchanges offered through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and other exchange programs,whose participants are hosted in local communities by organizations like the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI).

For over 20 years, WTCI’s Professional Exchanges Program department has designed and delivered exchange programs for foreign professionals from around the world. Topics cover a wide array of technical and educational subject areas. 

The Baltimore Curriculum Project has partnered with WTCI and the U.S. Department of State to host delegations of educators from a variety of countries including Vietnam, Brazil, Iraq, Egypt, and Mexico.
We would like to thank the following people for making this virtual field trip possible for our students:
  • Janine Branch, Manager, Professional Exchanges & Program Development, World Trade Center Institute
  • Nabila Chami, Social Media and PR Coordinator, National Aquarium
  • Diane Crow, Chief, Community Relations Branch, Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Jack Cover, General Curator, National Aquarium
  • Heather Doggett, Educator, National Aquarium educator
  • Kate Hendrickson, Media Relations Manager, National Aquarium
  • Lisa Jiang, Head of Google+ Education, Google
  • Kathy Stroup, Director of Extended Student Services, Wolfe Street Academy.
  • Connor Swenson, Google+ Education & STEM, Google
About Connected Classrooms: the G+ Virtual Field Trips Program
Google's Connected Classrooms initiative enables students around the world to take “virtual field trips” to places they'd otherwise never be able to explore. Virtual Field Trips connects cultural institutions like museums, zoos and aquariums with schools and non-profits around the country via Google+ Hangouts On Air. Hangouts On Air allows institutions to share universal access to unique cultural and educational experiences regardless of geographical and financial restrictions.
For more information about Google's Virtual Field trips visit:

About the World Trade Center Institute
The World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) is the largest international business network of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic – a who’s who of the top global business executives in the region. At WTCI we strive to drive the growth of Maryland’s flourishing global business community. Today more than 2,500 Maryland firms benefit from WTCI’s global connections, events, and extensive international business services. WTCI was established in 1989. Financed jointly by area businesses and the State of Maryland, WTCI operates as a private, non-profit membership organization. For more information visit: