Students take field trip to new museum in DC


DuHon Photography

Visitors interact with the language globe exhibit on the third floor of the museum.

Kate Russell, Writer

Seventh-graders from the Majestics team and some of the Discovery team took a field trip to the Planet Word Museum on March 22 to learn about the history and usage of language.

“There was a lot of information and meaning for all of the exhibits,” Summer Lee, a seventh-grader on the Majestics team, said.

Planet Word is a museum in Washington D.C. founded in 2020 at the site of the historic Franklin School. Its website describes it as “the museum where language comes to life,” and it’s made up of three floors, each containing different exhibits, galleries, and videos. These exhibits range in topic from where words come from, giving powerful speeches, and advertising to telling jokes, painting with words, and the diversity of spoken languages.

“There were a lot of things to explore, and it was a lot more than I expected from a museum,” Summer said.

A common favorite exhibit was the painting with words room, where visitors could take paintbrushes, dip them in “paints” made of vocabulary words like “crepuscular,” and wave them across a screen to make it look that way. 

“The painting room was my favorite because it was just so satisfying and interactive,” Summer said.

Another popular exhibit was “Where Do Words Come From?”, a 20-foot tall and 40-foot wide gallery of a thousand English words spread across the wall. Once an audience interacts with the room, it begins a video that takes the viewers on a journey through the history of the English language.

“I think that the students looked at language in a different way,” Kristden Oliver, the Majestics science teacher, said of the way students were impacted after the trip.

However, some students felt rushed through the exhibits without adequate time to appreciate them all.

“There were a lot of theoretically interesting exhibits, but everyone just went to the most fun activities,” the anonymous student said, “and we were rushed.”

The reason some students felt this way could have been because the buses were delayed. Students had to sit in the cafeteria and wait for an unexpectedly long period of time during what would have been their third period.

“It shortened our time at the museum,” Ms. Oliver said, “but not by too much because the museum made an exception and let us stay a bit longer than we were supposed to. We thought it was going to ruin the trip, but it did not at all.”

In the end, many students and teachers who went on the field trip still thought it was a good experience. Other seventh grade teams went on field trips almost a month later at the end of April and the beginning of May.

“I hope we continue to do seventh grade field trips,” Ms. Oliver said. “It’s very, very important.”