PHILADELPHIA — St. Elizabeth School resumed field trips this year after a long pause due to COVID, and the fourth grade believes it had the best one of them all. Teacher Stacey Reyburn and her class traveled to Citizens Bank Park, where NBC10/Telemundo62 brought back Weather Education Day, and the group stuck around to watch the Philadelphia Phillies host the San Diego Padres.
“I think I would claim this as St. Elizabeth’s fourth grade annual field trip,” Reyburn said.
Two and a half hours before the Phightin’ Phils took the field, approximately 8,000 students, their teachers and many parents took a seat in the lower level behind home plate and the dugouts. They listened and watched the entire weather team from NBC10/Telemundo62 explain the science behind the weather, demonstrated by a series of experiments.
For example, a representative of the Franklin Institute used a beach ball and an air blower to show Bernoulli’s principle, which holds that a decrease in air pressure results in an increase in speed. The meteorologists showed why baseballs travel further in hot weather, what happens when cold air and hot air mix, and how clouds are made from water droplets.
That final experiment was done on a small scale by NBC10’s Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz using liquid nitrogen and water. Although that got a good reaction from the crowd when Schwartz was enveloped in a cloud, the response was exponentially bigger when two people recreated in on a much bigger scale at second base.
Fourth-graders McKenna Briggs and Maggie Davis both said that was their favorite part of the day.
“I did not expect it to be that big,” McKenna said.
She added that she is a science person.
“In class, we did an experiment where we had to make bridges with our group, and if the car holds up when we drive it across, then it works,” she said.
Maggie said science isn’t really her thing, but an event such as Weather Education Day might get her to change her mind. She was also excited for the ballgame. Her cousin, Ben, is a television analyst for the team and a former major league player.
“He’s not working today,” Maggie said.
Reyburn had known about Weather Education Day, and when St. Elizabeth decided to resume its field trips, she wanted to do something memorable.
“I thought that since this is my first year teaching at St. Elizabeth, I wanted to do something that absolutely knocked it out of the park for them, made it a cool experience, their first field trip in several years,” she said.
Reyburn teaches all subjects, and she enjoys science. She was impressed by the experience at the park.
“I think it was done very well. I think it was cool to see the actual meteorologists doing experiments related to what children can do at home. It was really engaging for the kids,” she said.
Jacob Carpenter, one of Reyburn’s students, liked the demonstration about the relationship between hot and cold weather, which was shown using water. He also learned “that clouds are made out of water.”
He was also ready to watch a game. Jacob plays for the Orioles in Capital Little League.
“I think this is the best field trip,” Jack said. “It’s got hot weather. It’s a nice day out. You get to sit up high and see Bryce Harper play.”
Harper, it should be noted, was not in the lineup.
His friend Jackson Pecou said soccer is more his thing, but he said he might want to try baseball at some point. As for the science, he said he learned about the effects of temperature on the distance the ball travels.
“I think it was fun. We got to experience new things. I had a great time. I got to play with my friends,” Jackson said. “And there’s not a lot of classes that get to do this.”
Reyburn said that for admission, each student had to buy a discounted game ticket that also included a credit for the concession stands at Citizens Bank Park. So, in addition to weather and baseball, the students enjoyed pizza, hot dogs, chicken fingers, cotton candy, ice cream and crab fries. Reyburn did not share with her students that they would be attending until she could secure a bus. When that was done, she told them the good news.
“I told them we were going to go somewhere cool, whether it be here for the Weather Day or to the Philadelphia Zoo or something,” she said. “When I got the email that said it’s a go and I told them, the class exploded. They were very happy, baseball players and non-baseball players.
“It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame.”
There were only two down sides to the day. None of the Vikings caught a t-shirt launched from the Phillie Phanatic’s cannon, and the result of the game was not good. Despite predictions of a win by Maggie (4-0 Phillies) and Jacob (8-6 Phillies), the Phils fell to the Padres by a 2-0 score.
All photos by Mike Lang.