Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Purdue zipTrip?
Purdue zipTrips are electronic field trips that include a live 45-minute broadcast and online resources for classroom use. No need for buses, permission slips, or sack lunches – let the field trip come to you! Through the magic of technology, connect your students with real-world scientists doing cutting-edge work at Purdue.
How much does it cost to participate?
It's free!! (Yes, you read that correctly.) Funding for developing Purdue zipTrips is provided through a generous grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, so there is no cost to register.
What makes Purdue zipTrips different from a typical educational video?
Purdue zipTrips happen in real time! Unlike your everyday videos that you put in the DVD player to sit back and watch, Purdue zipTrips are LIVE – taking place while you watch. And to make them feel even more like a field trip, we recommend adjusting your schedule on the day of a Purdue zipTrip so you can bring all of your students to one location in your school (e.g., auditorium, multipurpose room) so they can participate together. You would do the same thing if you left your school campus for a traditional field trip, right?
How much time is required for a Purdue zipTrip?
Well, that depends on how much time you have. You can choose to do any or all of the following: (1) attend the LIVE show--45 minutes; (2) watch the short online videos featuring Purdue scientists and their work--approx. 6 minutes each; (3) use any optional materials provided, such as lesson plans or student activities--one or more class periods.
What technology is needed?
Do you like having options? We know that not every school has the same technologies available. So we offer Purdue zipTrips via three different viewing methods:
1. Web Streaming: You will need a computer with Windows Media Player software. Make sure you test your connection at least one week before the LIVE show. You'll find instructions for how to do that here.
2. Television: Purdue zipTrips is broadcasted via an analog satellite signal. Check with your local public television station (PBS) to see if they could carry the program.
3. Videoconferencing: You will need an IP videoconferencing unit, such as Polycom, Tandberg, or LifeSize. Again, make sure you test your connection at least one week before the LIVE show. Check out the instructions for how to do that here.
Can I have my students watch in our school's computer lab?
Buffering…buffering…buffering!! That's probably the message you would get if you connected several computers to Purdue zipTrips at the same time. Purdue zipTrips usually plays better if you connect one computer to the webstream and use a projector and a screen to show it to a group of students. Talk with your school's technology specialist to make sure your school has enough bandwidth to watch the show.
What makes Purdue zipTrips interactive?
Purdue zipTrips is more than a video. We like to see students get up and get moving! During the LIVE shows, your students may be asked to jump in place and then take their heart rate or to help solve mysteries using scientific inquiry. We also recommend having a computer with Internet access nearby so students can e-mail their questions to scientists during the show.
Can I use Purdue zipTrips with students in elementary or high school?
While Purdue zipTrips are based on academic standards for grades 6, 7, and 8, some content might be useful for students in other grade levels as well. Preview the materials online to decide if they fit the needs of your students.
Can homeschoolers participate?
The short answer is "yes." The longer answer is that you'll need to review our technology information to make sure you can access the program.
What happens if a student is absent on the day of the Purdue zipTrip?
We realize (cough, cough) that sometimes (sniff) students may miss school on the day of the Purdue zipTrips LIVE show (ah-CHOO!). But that doesn't mean they should miss out on the excitement. A recording of the LIVE show is available to all participants after the event.
Do my students have to watch the LIVE show, or can they just watch the archived program?
Want to do Purdue zipTrips on your own schedule? No problem! You can register and use the archived recording at anytime after each Purdue zipTrip takes place. Just remember, using the archive means your students will miss out on e-mailing questions in to the scientists LIVE on the air.
How long after a Purdue zipTrip will I have access to the archived show?
The archived shows will stay online for the entire school year. Let's say you miss the Disease Detectives LIVE show in November. That's okay, because the archived recording will remain online until the next time the show is presented, usually one year later.
I only want to use the supplemental videos and classroom lessons. Is that OK?
Sure! Purdue zipTrips is what you make of it. We encourage teachers to pick and choose the materials they want to use. For example, you may only want to watch the "Week of Scientists" videos with your students or use the body systems classroom lesson. Please use the materials in the way you think best fits your curriculum.
My students sent in questions during the LIVE show that weren't read on air, but they'd still like to know the answers. How can they find out?
Turns out that a LOT of students are very inquisitive, which is great! But since thousands of students attend each Purdue zipTrip, we don't have time to answer all of the questions we receive on air. (We'd need a much longer show.) But don't worry! Our scientists stay after school to answer the questions they've missed, then we e-mail their answers to participants as soon as possible following the LIVE show.