Arizona Connections Academy (ACA) Students Attend Field Trip at Biosphere2

One hundred forty Arizona Connections Academy students from around the state recently participated in a field trip to the Biosphere2 in Oracle, northeast of Tucson. The Biosphere2 is a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. This one-of-a-kind facility sits on a ridge at a cool elevation of nearly 4,000 feet and is surrounded by a magnificent natural desert preserve.

"This is just one example of how ACA brings lessons to life," said Brian Rosta, ACA's principal. "While we offer grade-specific field trips, we also provide all-school trips that allow families with multiple students enrolled to participate as a family group. The

Biosphere2 is an example of an educational experience for all ages."

The students' tour took them on a journey that allowed them to smell the ocean and see a tropical rainforest up close. In addition to being escorted through the upper Biomes, the interpretive tour guide took students through the basement "technosphere" and into the lungs that help the Biosphere system breathe. The tour concluded in the custom-built underwater ocean viewing gallery where students explored the million-gallon ocean and its real coral reef.

ACA conducts more than 200 field trips statewide each year that bring classroom lessons to life with:

· Eco-tours of our rivers, lakes, mountains, and caverns where students explore the interconnections of biology, ecology, and geology.

· Cultural outings that deepen their understanding of art, music, and theater.

· History tours that vividly trace the impact of the past on the present.

· Excursions that connect math and science concepts to practical living and working applications.

· Local outings to fire stations, farms, and local businesses allowing students to connect both with one another and the communities they live in.

The ACA curriculum is designed by national education experts and customized to meet the specific standards of the Arizona Department of Education. Bringing together the best in print and online resources with Connections Academy proprietary instructional tools, the ACA curriculum is designed to engage students of every level. The goal is simple: To ensure that all students have the resources they need to succeed.

About Connections Academy

Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, full-time and part-time private school programs, and turnkey online programs for bricks and mortar schools, Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. In the 2010-11 school year, Connections Academy will serve students in Arizona, California (Southern and Central), Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming through its public school programs. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit