Historical Student Trip to Birmingham, AL

The civil rights movement was a volatile and influential time in our nation’s history.  We study it in our schools, watch movies portraying its leaders and feel its impact on today’s society.  How much more powerful would it be to experience it first hand?  Planning an historical student trip to Birmingham, Alabama is a compelling way to connect the past and the present.

Birmingham Civil Rights District

This historical city in the deep south hearkens back to a time of civil unrest and great change in the United States.  The Birmingham Civil Rights District is an area of downtown where several significant events took place in the 1950s and 60s.  It’s an easily walkable route (especially for student groups).  Highlights include Kelly Ingram Park, 16th Street Baptist Church, Fourth Avenue Business District, A.G. Gaston Gardens (formerly the A.G. Gaston Motel), Carver Theater and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The struggles and triumphs of the civil rights movement are captured beautifully at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  BCRI is dedicated to educating new generations by exploring a common past and preserving our civil and human rights history.  BCRI is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and offers group pricing.

Historic Bethel Baptist Church

Just a few minutes’ drive from downtown is Historic Bethel Baptist Church.  The church played a crucial part in the 1961 Freedom Ride, providing refuge for wounded or stranded riders under the guidance of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

Alabama Penny Savings Bank Building

Founded by William Reuben Pettiford in 1890, the Alabama Penny Savings Bank was the first black-owned bank in the state and the 2nd largest black-owned bank in the country.  Its was instrumental in helping African Americans achieve home ownership and in the development of Birmingham businesses and churches.

Other Attractions of Interest

If you’re willing to go a little further, the Civil Rights Memorial Center, Rosa Parks Museum and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site are just a bus ride away.  Stops at these attractions will certainly round out your civil rights movement itinerary and thrill students.

We are living in an era that is truly reminiscent of another time in our nation’s history when the social climate was enduring growing pains.   Planning a trip to historically rich Birmingham is a wonderful way to connect our past, present and future- and remember the lessons learned there!

Trust the Experts

As you plan your historical trip to Birmingham, count on the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to help.  Kaleidoscope Adventures will help you customize an historical travel experience your students won’t soon forget. Call the KA team of experts at 407-345-4899 for travel beyond expectations!

Plan Your Student STEM Trip to Birmingham for Great STEM Attractions

If you are planning a student group trip, chances are good that your district will require a STEM component. You may even be planning an exclusively STEM trip. If youre not competing in a robotics competition, where do you begin searching for a destination that meets your requirements? Birmingham, Alabama is a great starting point! Rooted firmly in the 19th century steel industry and evolving into a city undergoing a renaissance, Birmingham has an extensive and varied offering of outstanding STEM-related attractions. Below are some highlights to consider as you plan your student STEM trip to Birmingham.

Photo Courtesy of Art Meripol and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
Built in 1881 and operational by April 1882, the Sloss Blast Furnace was a technological marvel of its era. Today students can tour the site of this monument to the industrial revolution and learn how the furnace worked, the historical significance of the plant in Birminghams development, and what it was like to be a worker during production. Theres even an opportunity to make a piece of cast iron art!

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Vulcan Park and Museum
Follow your visit to the Sloss Furnaces with a trip to the Vulcan Statue and Museum. Created by Giuseppe Morettti, the Vulcan depicts the Roman god of fire and forge and stands 56 feet tall. This cast iron statue reflects Birminghams steel and iron heritage and allows for spectacular views of Birmingham. The museum below is an interactive museum highlighting the history of both the city and the Vulcan.

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

The McWane Science Center
The McWane Science Center will quickly take your students from the 19th to the 21st century. Exhibits at this state-of-the-art center are designed to challenge, inspire and encourage interest in the sciences. Take in multiple levels of hands-on STEM activities perfect for kids of all ages!

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Barber Vintage MotorSports Museum
Opened in 1995 by retired race car driver George Barber, this unrivaled collection of restored-to-racing condition motorcycles constitute the worlds largest motorcycle collection (more than 1400!). The bikes represent 200 manufacturers from approximately 20 countries and were even part of a display at The Guggenheim. Its an unusual and unique look at some pristine machinery!

Photo Courtesy of Art Meripol and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Southern Museum of Flight
The Southern Museum of Flight is a regional gem dedicated to sharing the history of aviation in the south. Exhibits include civilian, military and experimental aircraft and memorabilia. There are more than 100 aircraft on display, as well as a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen.

Photo Courtesy of Ted Tucker and the Greater Birmingham CVB

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The word STEM often connotes thoughts of technology or robotics. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens will have you thinking outside the flower box! They offer fabulous educational programs and workshops that dig in to the science of horticulture. Admission is always free, the gardens are open year-round, and they even have the only public horticultural library in the U.S.

As you begin to plan your STEM adventures, keep Birmingham in mind for a one-of-a-kind trip. Theres so much to see and do beyond these few suggestions. The kids will love the engaging attractions, history and southern hospitality. Youll love that youve met your curricular requirements in one amazing city!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Birmingham STEM trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email