Field Trip Highlight: Blended Learning Students at Balboa Park! Sept. 28, 2017

Field Trip Highlight: Blended Learning Students at Balboa Park!

Blended HS Students at Balboa

My students and I had a great time visiting the Museum of Photographic Arts and San Diego History Center at Balboa Park on Tuesday, Sept. 12. I am so fortunate to be able to provide meaningful experiences such as this to our Blended Learning students at Pathways Academy. Below is a recap of our amazing field trip!


Museum of Photographic Arts

The first room we stopped in at MOPA was where we spent the majority of our time. We learned about our vision and how 3-D images are created using the eyes’ ability to perceive depth and the colors red and cyan. One exhibit startled us by giving the impression that the items could be touched if we just reached out our hands – and yet they were just photographs printed on a paper. We saw beautiful images of scenery from around the world captured in black and white photographs. As a native Utahn, I was startled to see Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon without the vivid red colors. One photograph showed a seal craning its neck around to look directly at the photographer! And we spotted the person’s reflection in the seal’s large eye.


Students wrote journal entries at the end of our time at MOPA about the importance of light and color in the photos and how we learn about the photographer through the photographs. A ninth-grade student observed “Light is important in photos because it changes the perspective on how things are shaded.”


San Diego History Center

Students really enjoyed seeing the Model T car and Stagecoach at the San Diego History Center. One student is very interested in Japan and she is studying the language on her own. She immediately gravitated to the Japanese American Historical Society Exhibit where we learned about the internment camps of World War II. They had a piece of artwork made of the tags that were given to the individuals and a genuine announcement that required individuals of “Japanese heritage” to report to a given location on a specified date. One student asked if this was similar to what is now happening related to DACA.


We also watched the film “Balboa Park: The Jewel of San Diego” to learn about the history of the area and how San Diego was put on the map. It was fascinating to learn about the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 that had mainly temporary buildings of chicken wire and plaster which were later converted to permanent structures. The San Diego Zoo grew out of the abandoned animal exhibits. The Exposition was influential in convincing people to put a permanent Navy port in San Diego.


Concluding the Visit

We finished off our visit by enjoying lunch near the reflecting pond outside the botanical gardens building. One twelfth grader wrote in her journal “I think our field trip to Balboa Park was super fun! We really are lucky to live in such a beautiful place with such rich culture.” Visit for more information about the area. It is very worth the visit!


For more information about Blended Learning or other educational options within Pathways Academy, visit or call (760) 494-9646.

To check out upcoming field trip opportunities, see the Pathways Academy calendar.