Publish Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:35:00 -0800

Fieldtrips Highlight Summer Sociology

This summer, students in Prof. Julie McKee's Introduction to Sociology won't be stuck inside a classroom all day.

"I do three field trips in the summer because I want it to be more fun, more interactive, and I want them to bring their families and friends," McKee said. 

There are 34 students in SOC100, plus five taking it as an Honors course. For the first trip, the class went to the A.K. Smiley Public Library and Lincoln Shrine in Redlands because they are free, close to campus, and most students have never visited. 

"This was my fifth trip," McKee said. "The assignments change each summer as the exhibits change. The assignment includes a few open-ended questions and a take home reflection. Topics covered include race, gender, war, traits of Abraham Lincoln, and a brief history of Redlands." 

McKee also takes students to the San Bernardino County Museum, where they do a scavenger hunt and learn about native and early local culture, mountain men and white settlers, the citrus industry, birds and mammals, Mill Creek, and railroads. McKee and Prof. Ruth Greyraven go to the museum a week before the field trip, and "map out the questions," she said. "Most students have not been to this museum since elementary school, so it is interesting to them."

 For the summer's third field trip, McKee likes to take students outside, and classes have been to the Edward Dean Museum, UCR Botanic Gardens, Oak Glen, and the Bear Paw Sanctuary. This session was different, though, because of an extreme heat advisory.

 "We had a pizza party instead, and watched Hidden Figures," McKee said.