Recently we were blessed to be able to partake in the First Flight Field Trip, hosted by the Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center. This field trip centers around the dynamics of hockey and is a fun, educational trip to remember.
In the months leading up to the trip, my mother received several packets, containing what was required for science experiments dealing with the logic of building and maintaining an ice rink. It was tons of fun to build our own ice rink, make ice cream, learned about kinetic energy and heat transfer, reviewed the different forms of water, and much more. It was extremely generous of our benefactors to send these over.
The day of the trip finally arrived. After packing everything up the night before, we headed to bed. The next morning, at 5:20, the day began. It was time to get up and at ’em! We arrived at the church bright and early. The group quickly worked out our route and then we were off. When we arrived at the stadium it was about 8:00 am. The sun glimmered on the horizon and the chilly morn air nipped at our noses. IN the large parking center of the Ducks stadium hundreds of kids milled about, taking part in various activities. Our first stop was sledding. The rush was exhilarating as we fly down the snowhill, slowly shifting from side to side. It is an uncertain, slightly wild ride, but a fast and thrilling one. Then it was over.
We wandered, taking in SWAG and learning about the science dynamics of hockey. PBS channel was there, as well as a college and Toyo Tires. Each generously helped kids learn more about what goes into being an ice engineer. Inside the center we trailed through the gift shop, perusing the merchandise and getting a glimpse of a virtual reality headset. Over the din of the crowd we lined up. Into the stadium we went. It was surprising how warm it was in there.
We settled into our seats, taking a nibble of this and a sip of that, before the event begins. Up on the video screens, random sections of the audience were filmed. Their reactions at their faces, for all to see, were hilarious and cute at the same time. Then suddenly the lights dimmed.
The event had started.
Kids were encouraged to make some noise and the volume level was crazy in there. Then suddenly the big video screens came to life again. Kids got to see a small video explaining about there being a lack of engineers. Kids were asked to help the players figure out what an ice engineer does. Booming, dramatic music filled the stadium, the lights went out and a massive Zamboni entered, upon which Wild Wing our our host rode. They jumped off and launched into an explanation of our role in the activities taking place.
Kids were shown what goes into making and maintaining a hockey rink. Friction, thermodynamics, and heat transfer are just some of the topics covered, complete with interactions from students. Then we got to watch hockey players explain the science of ice cream, after which was a quick “dance break”. Then came the Skill Competition. Kids were divided, the audience becoming four different teams: Team Black, Team Red, Team Orange, and Team White. On the ice, hockey players from each “team” competed. These players, all Anaheim Ducks, skated cheerfully around the cold rink. In the first round, they shot pucks, each allotted a certain amount of points, into the nets. Our team won! In the next skill, “Hardest Shot”, players must try to shoot the puck at 100 mph. Once more White won, followed closely by Team Red and Team Orange. In the final round, a relay race, players must take the puck around obstacles and back to the other end of there ink. Orange was moving fast, coming up quick, but suddenly White rushed by. We’d won! A cheer rose, ending the excited chant for our team.
Once more kids were encouraged to make some noise, then thanked for participating. Teachers were cheered for as well before a final, wordless roar of approval. It is clear this field trip sat well with the students gathered. Excited chatter filled the stadium as the audience filed out. We said goodbye to our friends and filed out, two things on our mind: the trip and the pursuit of greasy cheeseburgers.
All in all, it was an exciting, well-planned trip. It was spectacularly fun as well as informative and made me want to go to a real Ducks game. I’ll be looking forward to next year in anticipation.