British Science Week takes place this week (8th – 17th March) and this year’s theme is ‘journeys’.
This week is the perfect opportunity to encourage your students to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.
And, with such a broad theme, there are many exciting avenues to explore.
You could get your students to think about physical journeys that people have made to achieve something significant in the world of STEM, such as the when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon.
Or you could think about the more abstract journeys of discovery that people have undertaken to reach a new understanding of the world around us.
You could look at lifecycles or the water cycle. Or you could spend time looking at the concepts of speed and time.
And you could even look at the possibilities of their own journeys in science - we've designed a poster to help your students understand where science can take them.
Some of our favourite visits for science school trips could also fall into this theme of ‘journeys’:
Paris and Disneyland® Paris - Marie Curie's Journey to Science Icon
A science school trip to Paris would allow your students to visit the Marie Curie Museum, to follow the journey of Marie Curie, from attending a clandestine university in Poland because it was the only way to study science as a woman, to moving to France and becoming the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
Madame Curie, along with her husband Pierre, discovered two elements, Polonium and radium, and coined the phrase ‘radioactivity’.
She faced sexism throughout her life. Firstly, in her struggle to gain a good scientific education and then to gain recognition for her achievements.
In fact, she very nearly did not receive her first Nobel Prize – it was due to go only to her husband and Henri Becquerel, until Magnus Goesta Mittag-Leffler, member of the Nobel committee and an advocate of female scientists stepped in and informed her husband that she was to be overlooked. Pierre then had to make a complaint in order to ensure his wife would receive the recognition she deserved for her work.
She also faced xenophobia as a foreigner in France during the early 20th century. When she was awarded a French honour, the media would often portray her as an undeserving foreigner. And when she scooped a foreign award, such as the Nobel Prize, she was then regarded as ‘French’.
So, to face discrimination on two fronts and still emerge as one of the most influential scientists to have ever lived makes Marie Curie a hugely inspirational figure to many. Still the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes, and the first person ever to receive them in two different fields (physics and chemistry), there are numerous institutions, organisations, elements and minerals named after her, ensuring that her legacy will continue to live on.
Cologne - The Evolution of Man
A science school trip to Cologne would allow your students to explore another journey completely – the evolution of man.
Located on the site (in the Neandertal – hence the name) of the discovery of the very first specimen of Homo neanderthalensis in 1856, the Neanderthal Museum explores human evolution with a particular focus on our cousins, the Neanderthals.
The relationship between Neanderthals and modern man is still a matter of great debate, but what is clear is that the Neanderthals and modern man did coexist for some time in Europe.
Like modern humans, Neanderthals made stone tools, hunted and used fire. The museum looks at these primitive beginnings before going on to look at how culture and society developed and potentially led to the survival of modern humans and the eventual disappearance of Neanderthals.
Orlando - The Space Race
A science school trip to Orlando will give your students the opportunity to explore man’s journey into space.
The highlight of a science trip to Orlando is, of course, the chance to visit the world-famous Kennedy Space Center. NASA’s primary launch centre of human spaceflight since 1968, this is the ideal place to learn about the history and future of space flight.
You’ll find out how the Space Race spurred a period of intense development and innovation in the world of space technology, culminating in the successful landing of the first humans on the Moon with Apollo 11, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center.
On your visit to the Kennedy Space Center you’ll tour launch areas, meet an astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators and, if you’re lucky, you may even have the opportunity to view a launch.
Ready to start your next science school trip journey?