The Educational Field Studies Program (EFS) at Saint Mark’s brings the curriculum to life and offers students the opportunity for hands-on exploration and informed scientific discovery, as well as the chance to step back in time and imagine themselves as part of California and United States History. All the while, students are building self-reliance and confidence and discovering what they are really capable of achieving. At Saint Mark’s, EFS trips are all included in tuition.
Fourth-grade students experience a step back into the Indian, Spanish, and Mexican time periods of California history. The three-day, two-night trip begins with an investigation into the cultural areas of California’s history. Hands-on activities include building a Native American shelter, making adobe bricks, and panning for gold. Students also spend a night on a tall ship, a replica of Richard Henry Dana’s Brig Pilgrim, and experience life as sailors in 1834.
Fifth-grade students travel across the country and back into United States history with a six-day trip to Pennsylvania, the Virginia’s Historic Triangle, and Washington D.C. History lessons take on new meaning as students visit sites such as Monticello, historic Williamsburg, Gettysburg, the Capitol Building, and other museums and monuments in Washington D.C. With faculty chaperones (and no parents) on this trip, students learn independence, self-reliance, and the value of good organizational skills.
Sixth-grade students are immersed in a week-long science adventure in tandem with the Yosemite Institute in Olympic National Park, located in Washington State. This is truly an example of bringing the classroom outdoors. Situated in North America’s best remaining example of temperate rainforest, students hone their inquiry-based science skills, explore in canoes, and learn the benefit of building cohesive teams through various outdoor activities and challenges.