UD Economics Students Attend Class Field Trip to Philadelphia

On Friday, April 16th, Visiting Assistant Professor Erin Yetter took her ECON308: Banking and Monetary Policy students on a field trip to Philadelphia where they spent the day exploring the city and visiting historic sites. The group visited the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia U.S. Mint while also having some free time to explore the city.

Yetter believes that field trips are an “important component of the educational experience as they give real-world application, engagement, multi-dimensional learning opportunities, connections to our community, etc.”

Once the group had arrived in the city at Jefferson Station, the students  walked to the Philadelphia Mint where they toured the facilities. Students were then given time for lunch and to explore the city before meeting at the FRB of Philadelphia in the early afternoon. At the FRB they participated in two group activities, ‘Money in Motion,’ and ‘A Seat at the Table.’ Students then had the remainder of the day to explore Philly on their own before catching the late train back to Newark.

Professor Yetter shared some of her insights from the day with Lerner, as well as her feelings regarding field trips and their importance.

Lerner: Why did you think it was important to take your students on this trip?

Yetter: Field trips provide students with real-world experiences that enhance their understanding of academic concepts. This type of experiential learning helps students connect what they learn in the classroom to the outside world, making education more meaningful and memorable.

Lerner: What specifically did you and your students do at each location?

Yetter: At the mint we went on a self-guided tour and were able to see the whole production process of minting coins. Philadelphia is one of the two locations in the whole country where coins are produced.

We even got to see the factory. Unfortunately, they were not actually minting the day we were there, but it was cool to see all the machines, presses, collection bins, etc.

At the Fed the group did two things – it was a larger group so they were split in half and then switched activities. During the ‘Money in Motion’ activity students worked on a scavenger hunt to go through all the exhibits. Those who completed the activity correctly got a small prize.

We also took part in the “A Seat at the Table” activity, where students had to analyze components of the Beige Book in preparation for a faux Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Lerner: Please provide your highlights of the day.

Yetter: One highlight was working with UD alums. All the staff in the Philadelphia Fed Economic Education department (who hosted us and did the activities with us) are UD – and even more specifically Lerner! – alums. Past Blue Hens helping current Hens learn, doesn’t get better than that! Alums included Andrew Hill, Todd Zartman, and Rebecca Chambers, in addition to Meaghan Vitale, a current student who works full-time at the Fed. In addition, we took the train (SEPTA) up; it was many students’ first time taking public transportation up to Philadelphia, so that was fun.

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