Think back to the days when you went on field trips. Odds are, you went to a lot of the big, name-brand museums — and maybe even revisited the same locations a time or two. There's a reason for that.
It turns out that at most schools, teachers are the ones planning and organizing field trips — and teachers aren’t professional event coordinators. So, they tend to do what any of us would do when tasked to do something outside our wheelhouse — stick with what they know. After all, who wants to reinvent the wheel when you can copy your predecessor's Museum of Natural History trip?
As great as the Museum of Natural History is — and it is a treasure — there are a ton of other really interesting cultural and learning institutions around the city. Unlike the bigger museums, many of them are all but unknown to teachers and students alike, but present new or exciting learning opportunities.
At least, that’s what the people behind Frip think.
“It hurts the students, because they don’t get to be exposed to all the amazing places in New York City," Frip co-founder Angela Choi said. "We want to make it easier for teachers to discover new places to take students to have a learning experience outside the classroom."
Frip launched in beta last week, just before the start of the school year, with the goal of making it easier for teachers to find and plan new, off-the-beaten-path field trips in New York. Through the site, teachers can find curated lists of locations broken down by student age and subject matter. For example, if you are looking for a place to take 5th grade science students, Frip has about 20 recommendations — including ones you’ve likely never heard of, like The Skyscraper Museum, The Museum of Food and Drink and the Battery Urban Farm. For each of these locations, Frip offers an overview of what the location offers as well as information on things like price, hours, wheelchair accessibility and contact information.
The service hopes to expand in in the future to include things like online reservations and online payment options, things that smaller venues often lack. At some point, they even hope to have electronic permission slips that can be signed online.