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Albert Lea students take first field trip since pandemic

Some middle schoolers from Albert Lea hit the road to tour the Hormel Institute and learn about research and science that happens there.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – After nearly two years of missing out because of the pandemic, class field trips are back for students. Some middle schoolers from Albert Lea hit the road to tour the Hormel Institute and learn about research and science that happens there.

“We’re excited to have students back at the institute,” community outreach education manager Kelly Vinceltette said.

Wednesday, the Hormel Institute welcomed more than 300 Albert Lea seventh-graders to tour its facility and try out some fun science experiments. The Institute has hosted other classes before, but had to stop during the pandemic.

“It has been something that the institute has done for a few years, and so we are excited to keep that tradition alive,” Vinceltette said.

Not only was it the Institute’s first time hosting students since the pandemic, but also it was the students first time taking a field trip.

“It feels like elementary school, because it’s been so long since we’ve actually had a field trip,” Albert Lea seventh-grader Sydney Kolker said.

“It’s really exciting to be able to go out and learn stuff from field trips,” Albert Lea seventh-grader Brezlyn said.

The students say they are grateful to be able to do some hands-on learning after having to adapt to online learning.

“I learn better when I get to see more visually stuff in-person, and it’s kind of harder going online,” Brezlyn said.

“Trying to learn stuff over video, like post, it’s not easy,” Sydney said.

Staff members hope they can inspire the next generation of scientists through activities like this.

“Being able to actually experience having that hands on component is just so impactful for students. Then they feel like a scientist and know that they can do science in a lab like ours. When they drive by, if nothing else, they know what happens in our building,” Vinceltette said.

The Hormel Institute has been celebrating its 80th anniversary all year, and throughout the month of May, families and communtiy members can participate in some geocaching at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.

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