Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keeping Students Focused on a School Trip

You may be considering a school trip with a focus on dramatic art or sports studies.
These are becoming increasingly popular, but the choice of location is also of vital importance if your students are to get the most out of the experience.
The locations
The school trip oriented towards sports tours or the dramatic arts is now an established reality and one that is increasingly familiar to education professionals. In theory, the only thing that one might imagine is worth concentrating on is the quality of the coaching available [though, of course, things such as accommodation and catering will also figure highly]. In practice, however, other factors come into play.
It is a simple fact of life that young students sometimes struggle to extend their concentration over lengthy periods of time. Doing the same thing day after day, however much they may enjoy it, can quickly become tedious for them and that might spell trouble for tour leaders and care providers.
That is why it might be advisable to think carefully about locations that are positioned in a rural isolation with little else of interest within easy travelling distance. Even if the facilities are world-class, students on a school trip need diversion. You can only get so much mileage out of asking them to keep contemplating the surrounding scenery, so having interesting things to do in the locality is critically important.
For example, some study centres of this type are based in Catalonia. Part of Spain, this semi-autonomous region has several major city centres of tourist interest such as Barcelona, Tarragona and Gerona. In addition to those great cities, it also boasts a host of other cultural exhibits and it is difficult to imagine that some of them would not be of interest to many students.
Another illustration is offered by Holland. Not only is this very geographically convenient for access from the UK, it also has a vast range of attractions that can be used to give students a break from their coaching. Examples might include canal rides in Amsterdam, tours of the Anne Frank Museum, or visits to some of charming smaller Dutch towns with their surrounding windmills.
Some such tours can also be based in or around Paris. There is little more that can be said that has not already be documented a thousand times about the attractions of this wondrous city, such as the Eiffel tower, the Louvre and Montmartre.
The basic point is that trying to constrain a group of young people together in one location for an extended period of time isn't likely to yield the best results on any school trip focused on improving sporting performance or awareness of the dramatic arts.
Getting out and about is important and necessary in order to break up the monotony.
Looking at the centre of excellence itself is, naturally, important, but perhaps needs to be coupled with some broader thinking about the background location for any school trip.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Exploring Science on an Educational Trip to London

London has a rich history that dates back to the Roman settlements in 43 A.D. Since then it has been an epicentre for the arts, education, entertainment, commerce and the sciences. Over the centuries, as a leading city, London developed as a hub and it is no wonder that many of the scientific achievements and important names - such as Sir Isaac Newton, Alexander Fleming, Elias Ashmole (founder of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum), Joseph Lister and Charles Darwin - all called the city home at some point.
If you visit London on an educational trip to explore the scientific elements of the city, you can visit the places where these (and many other) famous scientists lived and worked. But taking time out to see the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London is the best way to explore the scientific history of the city [and country] while visiting on an educational trip.
Natural History Museum
As one of the three large museums that face onto Cromwell Road, you cannot miss the stunning and imposing architecture of the Natural History Museum as you draw near. The founding collection for the museum was that which belonged to Sir Hans Sloane, whose significant artworks were purchased by the British government in the 18th century. The early collection was housed in Montegue House, until the current building was built by Alfred Waterhouse [in a Romanesque style]. The building was completed in 1880 and today is home to some 70 million items housed within the five main collections.
A visit to the Natural History Museum can easily take days, but on an educational trip time may be limited. By narrowing it down to the collections of Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology, you will have a better chance to see and study the things that interest your group the most. Without a doubt, the most famous exhibitions at the museum are of the dinosaur skeletons and casts, which sit nicely within the cathedral-like, ornate architecture. Particularly memorable is the large cast of the Diplodocus, which dominates the main hall.
The Science Museum
If you have had time to peruse the massive collection at the Natural History Museum and are still eager to make the most of the scientific element on an educational trip to London, head over to the Science Museum, located very near to the Natural History Museum.
Founded in 1857 by Bennet Woodcroft as a compilation of various other museums and collections, the Science Museum can now boast over 300,000 pieces, many of which are famous in the world of science and beyond. Some of the most important objects the museum holds are the oldest surviving steam locomotive, the first jet engine, a model of Crick and Watson's DNA strand, a floor of medical history, and documentation of the first typewriter. In addition to the exhibits, the museum has many interactive elements and areas that encourage students to get involved, as well as an IMAX 3D theatre showing documentaries.