Washington, D.C. –  Today, America250, the official nonpartisan entity charged by Congress with planning the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in collaboration with BNY Mellon, the 240-year-old global financial services company that played a pivotal role in the development, growth, and rise of the United States, is launching “America’s Field Trip,” — a nationwide scholastic contest with awardees receiving behind-the-scenes experiences at iconic American historical and cultural sites. America’s Field Trip invites elementary, middle, and high school students to submit artwork, videos, and essays reflecting on what America means to them.

75 first-place awardees and their designated chaperone will be provided free travel, lodging, and access to unforgettable field trip experiences at select historical and cultural sites across the country, and second-place awardees will receive $500 cash awards. Inaugural field trip experiences and partners include:

  • Tour of the Statue of Liberty in New York
  • Tour and hike at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Montana
  • Weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
  • Unique tours at the National Archives and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
  • Special tours at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, National Museum of African American History and Culture, or the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
  • Explore America’s iconic financial capital, New York City, with private tours of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Museum and Learning Center and the Bank of New York Mellon, the country’s oldest bank
  • Experience National Parks of Boston with a special visit to the USS Constitution and a sunset cruise to Spectacle IslandCandlelight tour at Fort Point at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Costumed roleplaying experience at American Village in Alabama

“America’s Field Trip is one of the most ambitious education engagement campaigns ever attempted because it’s more than a contest — it’s an extraordinary opportunity to bring students across the country together in celebrating and commemorating our nation’s 250th anniversary by exploring our past and allowing them to express their dreams for the future,” said America250 Chair, Rosie Rios. “We’re proud to launch this nationwide effort alongside BNY Mellon, whose support will make it possible to send students on experiences of a lifetime. As we forge ahead toward our nation’s 250th anniversary on July 4, 2026, this historic milestone is just as much about the future as it is our past — and America’s Field Trip will help empower young people to stand at the heart of this endeavor.”

“BNY Mellon was founded by Alexander Hamilton just a few years after the birth of America, and we are proud of our firm’s heritage of advancing America’s industries and communities over the century,” said Jayee Koffey, Global Head of Enterprise Execution and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for BNY Mellon. “It’s fitting that we participate in telling the country’s story of growth and resilience through America’s Field Trip and inspiring the next generation to continue the nation’s long history of innovation.”

America250 partnered with worldwide edtech leader Discovery Education to develop toolkits with lesson plans and student activities that educators can use to bring the America’s Field Trip contest to their classrooms.

“We are proud to partner with America250 to deepen curiosity about our nation’s history,” said Amy Nakamoto, General Manager of Corporate Partnerships at Discovery Education Experience. “As we approach this important milestone, we are excited to work with America250 and BNY Mellon to bring this national contest to life for students nationwide.”

“This collaboration with America250 embodies our shared commitment to provide educational opportunities that inspire informed and engaged citizenship,” said Tom Medema, National Park Service Associate Director for Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers. “Through America’s Field Trip, we are excited to offer opportunities for students to connect with and experience the incredible natural and cultural treasures within our national parks as we look toward our nation’s 250th anniversary.”

The inaugural contest will serve as the pilot launch of America’s Field Trip, which America250 will look to expand in 2025 and 2026. Watch this video to learn more about America’s Field Trip.

How to Participate in America’s Field Trip

Students must develop their submissions individually and must have a teacher or parent submit entries on their behalf. Students at each grade level will respond to the question, “What does America mean to you?” Students, families, and teachers can find more information, including resources, contest rules, release forms, and toolkit materials to integrate the contest into classroom activities at

The contest has different submission requirements for each grade band and is available to any student in elementary school (third to fifth grade), middle school (sixth to eighth grade), and high school (ninth to twelfth grade). The contest begins accepting submissions today, March 4, 2024, and will remain open until 11:59 PM on May 17, 2024. Award recipients will be announced in June 2024, and field trips will start in mid-July.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Contest begins 12:00 a.m. ET on 3/4/24 and ends 11:59 p.m. ET on 5/17/24. Open to U.S. students (3rd – 12th grade); student’s parent/legal guardian or teacher with parental permission must submit entry on student’s behalf (unless student is age of majority). Submission includes grant of license rights to entry’s content. First Prize awardees must travel with parent/legal guardian on designated dates. See Official Rules for full details including how to enter, eligibility requirements, prize description/restrictions and judging procedure. Void where prohibited.


About America250

America250 is a nonpartisan initiative working to engage every American in celebrating and commemorating the 250th anniversary of our country. It is spearheaded by the congressionally appointed U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission and its nonprofit supporting organization, This multi-year effort kicked off with America’s Invitation on July 4, 2023: a national public engagement campaign inviting all Americans to share their stories and their hopes and dreams for the future of this country. Until July 4, 2026, America250 is working to provide opportunities for all Americans to pause and reflect on our nation’s past, honor the contributions of all Americans, and look to the future we want to create for the next generation and beyond.

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About BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company that helps make money work for the world – managing it, moving it and keeping it safe. For 240 years we have partnered alongside our clients, putting our expertise and platforms to work to help them achieve their ambitions. Today we work with over 90% of Fortune 100 companies and nearly all the top 100 banks globally to access the money they need. We support governments in funding local projects and work with over 90% of the top 100 pension plans to safeguard investments for millions of individuals, and so much more. As of December 31, 2023, we oversee $47.8 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration and $2.0 trillion in assets under management.

BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). We are headquartered in New York City, employ over 50,000 people globally and have been named among Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies and Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators. Additional information is available on Follow us on LinkedIn or visit our Newsroom for the latest company news.