Towers of Learning

Towers Bring New Meaning to Higher Learning

There are few things more breathtaking than a sky high view of the rest of the world. The chance to experience a view from above is an opportunity that can bring the mind peace and clarity, in addition to further knowledge. There are three major U.S. landmarks that can literally take us to new heights and provide us with a beautiful and educational experience.

Space Needle – Seattle, WA

Seattle’s widely known observation tower was first built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. The Space Needle has an impressive architectural history. It was designed after building upon ideas like a giant balloon and a flying saucer, and ended up reaching over 600 feet high and weighing 9,550 tons. The Space needle is expected to remain a strong structure, enduring high winds and moderate earthquakes. SkyCity is a rotating restaurant located at the top of the Space Needle, and it completes a 360-degree rotation in only 47 minutes. A visitor can be taken to the top in approximately 41 seconds in an elevator moving 10 miles per hour. The Seattle Space Needle is open 365 days a year from 8am until midnight.

Willis Tower (Skydeck) – Chicago, IL

Willis Tower is the eighth tallest building in the world, towering 1450 feet above the ground. It offers the opportunity to stand on what’s referred to as “The Ledge,” a retractable glass compartment attached to the building for an unforgettable view of 50 miles. Along with the opportunity to stand on the ledge, Skydeck provides displays, videos, and facts about Chicago and the history of the building. The Ledge website also provides short quizzes and scavenger hunts for children with regards to the tower. (

Empire State Building – New York City, NY

As one of America’s icons and a world famous landmark, the Empire State Building is one of the most notable locations to visit in the world. The top of the roof is measured to be about 1250 feet high, and the antenna reaches an extra 200 feet higher. The Empire State Building is open every day of the year from 8am until 2am. In the past few years, the building has undergone renovations and upgrades in order to make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The building cost almost $41 million to build and is also home to an interior of mural art decorations. The Empire State Building has been featured in numerous shows and Hollywood films, demonstrating the fame and nostalgic significance of the building. The Empire State Building website also provides lesson plans for various grade levels and subjects, to enhance the educational experience. (

Each one of these locations is a phenomenal destination for study. The observation decks are equipped with presentations and experiences to educate visitors on history, math, science, architecture, physics, geography, and art. All three of these towers hold a special place in U.S. history, as they represent American dreamers, engineers, and innovators. They presently stand strong and continue to inspire students from all over the world to learn and strive for greatness.

More for our members on field trips:

At HECOA, we LOVE field trips!  They are a great way to enhance your academic content and they really help kids to get hands-on experiences to extend the learner to much deeper levels.  We have articles as well as recorded webinars on field trips, and we have TWO amazing field trips scheduled at the national level for 2016 - one is to Yellowstone National Park in June 2016, and the other is to Washington D.C. in September!


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