Indianapolis offers several educational and exciting choices for school field trips. A few stand out as exceptional learning tools for middle and high school students. Many of these have been around for decades, while others, though relatively new are gaining popularity with teachers and youth leaders.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened itself to racing events in 1909. The infamous "brickyard" got its name from the millions of bricks that was used in the first resurfacing of the track. Today the entire track is paved with asphalt except for the finish line, which still contains the original brickwork. Over the years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted several types of racing events. The most famous are the Indianapolis 500 which is the still the most coveted race to win in the open wheel circuit. IMS also hosts The NASCAR Brickyard 400 each year. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum houses memorabilia from all of the races held at the illustrious track. The museum is open year around and hosts tours that include the museum, garages and track itself.
The Eiteljorg Museum was founded by Harrison Eiteljorg in 1989. It was the first museum of its kind in Indianapolis dedicated solely to the West and the Native American Indians that played such a large part in the history of this country. Exhibits that display how the Native Americans lived and how settlers began to occupy the western half of the United States are educational and very informative. Field trips to the museum can be arranged by emailing or calling the curator at their website, http://www.eiteljorg.org/default.asp.
Conner Prairie is an actual settlement that has been refurbished and used as an educational center for the youth of central Indiana. Conner Prairie was named after William Conner, an early settler who settle in the area in 1823. Eli Lilly purchased the property in the 1930's after it had been left in disrepair. He had the buildings repaired and opened it to the public as an educational center. In the 1970's, further changes were made and Conner Prairie became the leader in interactive historical centers. Located in Fishers, Indiana, Conner Prairie is easily accessible from most areas of the state.
Another favorite is the Indianapolis Zoo. Located in the White River State Park, just outside of downtown Indianapolis, the zoo opened its doors in 1964. It has continued to grow and expand over the years. Along with the animal exhibits and shows, the zoo also has the White River Gardens. The Gardens is a 3 and 1/2 acre botanical facility that houses a variety of plants and exhibits explaining how the plants, animals and people are all tied together. Field trips can be set up by contacting the staff at the zoo. All information is included on their website.
Indianapolis has a host of educational resources at the disposal of anyone who would like to use them. These are just a few of them.