The Juniors Visit Philly!


Getty Images/iStockphoto

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Sophie Halliburton, Managing Editor

On October 26, the Junior Class visited Philadelphia for a day trip to see and tour various historically relevant sights, such as the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, and, for those who chose to visit it, the Liberty Bell. 

According to Mr. Smith, the SUPA U.S. History teacher, and Mr. O’Brien, the AP U.S. History teacher, this particular field trip to Pennsylvania has been done several times in the past, although this was the first time since around 2018 that the high school was able to organize the trip due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Sometimes we take the entire eleventh grade, sometimes just a couple of classes. We’ve also done some junior class field trips to Ellis Island and West Point, but we’ve done Philadelphia the most amount of times,” said Mr. Smith.

Despite student disappointment over the trip not being overnight, Mr. Smith explained that by “looking at what we wanted to do in Philadelphia, [he] figured we could have a meaningful experience in Philadelphia in just one day.” And, as both he and Mr. O’Brien touched on, it would have been too complicated to plan an overnight trip for such a large group of students as the high school typically only allows such trips with a smaller class. Nevertheless, Mr. Smith expressed that “by getting coach buses, [they] did try to make the two hour trip a bit more enjoyable” for everyone. 

One of the places students visited was the National Constitution Center, a museum filled with interactive exhibits, displays, and the Signer’s Hall, all of which are “dedicated to furthering peoples’ understanding of the Constitution” and the foundation of our country, as Mr. O’Brien explained. “The other [place] is more so sight history,” said Mr. Smith in reference to Independence Hall, as this “was the actual place where the Continental Congress met, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted, where the Constitutional Convention happened, and next to it is the Congress Hall,” where events like the creation of the first National Bank and ratification of Jay’s Treaty took place. 

“We’ll of course have an explanation of what [each of these places mean], but this is an opportunity for all of us to [observe] the actual places where these amazing documents, and essentially the founding of our country, happened,” expressed Mr. Smith.