Los Cerritos Elementary School students

This Is Why You Do Field Trips

Eighth graders from Alta Loma Middle School embarked on a field trip to view the new Diego Rivera exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Eighth graders at Alta Loma Middle School (ALMS) journeyed to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) on September 27, 2022, to see a new exhibition featuring the works of Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera from the 1920s to the mid-1940s.
It was the students’ first field trip since at least 2019 and also the first time many had ever visited SFMOMA.
“I think it was a different experience for sure,” said Sean de Jesus. “It was amazing to see all the different artists and the varieties of art. . .I’m not really into art, but it was cool to be able to see these paintings and spend time with my class.”
Maddox Penaflor, said the field trip was especially meaningful, because COVID had deprived him and his classmates of previous opportunities for learning.
“Since sixth grade I was doing online school,” Maddox said, “so I was sitting home and wasn’t doing much, but with the field trip it was a change for me, because I never went outside to the city.”
The centerpiece of the Diego Rivera exhibition was the gigantic “Pan American Unity” mural, which is permanently housed on the campus of City College of San Francisco (CCSF), and which the artist painted in 1940 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island.
Diego Rivera's "Pan American Unity" mural
Eighth grader Allyson Garcia-Parrales, who is into art, said she appreciated the storytelling aspect of Rivera’s work.
“I think it was incredible,” Allyson Garcia-Parrales said. “It’s one thing seeing it on the screen and another thing seeing it in real life with vibrant colors, the richness of the colors.”
The idea for the field trip came from Rob Goldstein, who joined ALMS this year, so he could teach art full-time.
“I want my students to have fun with art, but I have a very serious nature and goal and mission in mind,” said Goldstein. “My end product is to improve their eye-hand-brain coordination, to connect left and right lobes of their brain.”    
Goldstein said students who take art classes do better in math and science and even in physical education, because their brains are working more completely.
“It’s proven. It’s a scientific fact. You connect two sides of the brain, the brain works better.”