At EA School Tours, our mission is to help teachers create once in a lifetime learning experiences for their students. Each year, our friend, Dan Leutton from Grace Lutheran College in Australia, organises a school trip for his science students to NASA Orlando. We recently caught up with Dan to ask him about his latest trip to NASA and what inspires him.
What is your name, what subject do you teach, and what school do you teach at?
My name is Dan Leutton and I’m a Senior Physics Teacher at Grace Lutheran College based in Australia
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I wanted to inspire students in the area of Physics. I’ve been teaching now for eights year.
What do you love most about your job?
I love seeing my students finally grasping a concept I’m trying to teach them. The holidays aren’t so bad either.
Why did you decide to take your students on an international school trip to the USA?
I had always wanted to visit the Kennedy Space Center at NASA Orlando and thought that it was an amazing opportunity for my students. It’s the kind of trip they may not have the opportunity to experience again.
How was the process of getting your trip approved?
I found EA School Tours through an email that was passed on to me from my Head of Department. Getting the trip approved wasn’t too difficult. I had to speak to our Deputy Principal and submit a proposal to our Senior Leadership Team. They discussed the proposal and approved it.
A point of difference for EA School Tours is that we provide a trip representative to accompany you while you’re away. How did you find this assistance?
We had a trip rep accompany us on both trips I’ve run. This was super handy; their prior knowledge of the area was amazing.
What were your students most excited about for the trip?
My students were most excited about doing the NASA tour at Kennedy Space Center. But the NBA basketball game we attended and Universal Studios were big drawcards as well.
What was the biggest challenge you faced travelling with a large group of school children?
Going through USA Customs and keeping them all together through the airports was the biggest challenge I faced. The rest was a breeze.
Do you think school trips are important to a child’s education?
I think school trips are important to a child’s education. They enable students to see how science and the concepts they’re learning in the classroom are applied in real-world situations
What do your students think of the trip and do you think it stimulated their interest in science?
My students absolutely loved the trip. After speaking to a couple of them, a few of them developed interests in different aspects we covered in the trip. For example, a couple were really interested in learning more about space exploration.
What is the most rewarding thing about taking your students on an international trip?
The enjoyment and wonder on their faces when we go to the activities. It’s extremely satisfying to know you’re giving them an experience of a lifetime.
What are the biggest challenges STEM teachers face?
In my opinion, I think the biggest challenges STEM teachers face are how to teach new concepts creatively and the access we have to new resources.
What would be your advice for another teacher considering an international school trip?
I would encourage any teacher to organise an international school trip. It's a rewarding experience and Educating Adventures make things very easy to organise and the trip runs very smoothly.