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Bullis Middle School Makes Global Travel History

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Bullis Middle School Makes Global Travel History
Middle School Discovery Days

(l to r): 6th grade students at the Grand Canyon / Grand Circle, 7th grade in the Florida Keys, and 8th grade in Costa Rica.

This year, Bullis achieved a historic first, sending our entire Middle School on Global Studies trips called Discovery Days. These week-long, curriculum-based trips were taken by grade level and included travel to the Grand Canyon, Florida Keys, and Costa Rica during the week of March 18-24.

In preparation for the trips, interdisciplinary lessons were aligned with the Middle School curriculum throughout the school year. Teachers created curriculum maps with objectives, goals, activities, and post-learning outcomes for each discipline. Service learning and cultural understanding were also addressed. The trips were also aligned with the goal of fostering mindful exploration that is laid out in the Portrait of a Graduate. As a symbol of camaraderie, students wore T-shirts designed by Visual Art Teacher Kesley Donegan and sponsored by the Parents Association.

The 6th grade curriculum includes earth science—including the study of rock strata, plate tectonics, water erosion, and fossil formation—so they visited the Grand Circle. They explored Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, but the planned trip to the Grand Canyon was canceled due to a snowstorm.

The 7th grade studies life science—cell biology, genetics, and biodiversity—so they traveled to the Florida Everglades and the Florida Keys. Students had an opportunity to snorkel, visit a turtle hospital, and enjoy dinner on the beach.

In 8th grade, students study physical science, so they continued their study of biodiversity, geochemistry, and sustainability in Costa Rica. Students enjoyed white water rafting, visiting an animal sanctuary, canoeing, ziplining, and an impromptu visit to a local school. Middle School Spanish Teacher Marcela Velikovsky led a heartfelt activity between our students and theirs—donating supplies and taking turns practicing an exchange of English and Spanish.

In a touching moment, a boy wanted to give something to our students in return but had nothing to give. He reached into his pocket, where he kept his marbles. You could see on his face how much they meant to him. He thought for a moment, then handed the marbles to one of our students and said, “Thanks for coming to visit us.”

Not only were the trips designed for experiential learning, but they were fun too.

Delve into the journeys detailed on the Bullis Blog as students explored their destinations and created lifelong memories.


This article is featured in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Bullis Magazine.

  • Bullis Magazine
  • Bullis Newsroom
  • Class of 2027
  • Class of 2028
  • Class of 2029
  • Discovery Days
  • Global Studies Trips
  • Spring/Summer 2023