On Friday, October 6th, 2017 Cortona Academy staff and students spent the day in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. The first place on the agenda was a tour of the United States Capitol Building. The tour started out with a short 15 minute video which explained the history of the construction of the Capitol and shared many fun facts, like that the Capitol Building was partially burned during the War of 1812. The group was then lead through several rooms, including the Rotunda. The students were amazed at the grandeur of the Rotunda dome, and hardly believed the tour guide when she told them that it was roughly 17 stories above their heads! The kids also had fun finding the statues placed around the building that corresponded to various states. They learned from the guide that there are 100 statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection, two from each state. Teachers and students alike made a game of trying to find the ones from their various states of birth!
After a very delicious lunch at the Capitol cafeteria (we highly recommend eating here!), the group moved a few blocks down the Mall to the United States Botanical Garden, which is oldest continually operating botanic garden in the United States and maintained by the Architect of the Capitol, who is responsible for maintaining the grounds of the United States Capitol. Many in the group were shocked at the beauty of the gardens, many saying they had no idea that the center even existed. One teacher called it, “The unsung gem of the National Mall.” The Gardens include twelve different rooms, among them a desert and a jungle.
The day brought perfect weather, some history lessons, a chance to explore different climates, and a lesson on how to use the D.C. Metro. All in all it was a successful day, and the first of many mind-opening field trips to come this year!