STEM - Overseas study tours for schools
How an overseas trip to learn about STEM can help to pave a pathway to a career in the Sciences. We are talking to Tom from Sweet Chariot about the overseas science, technology, engineering and maths, or STEM trips they offer to school groups and how these experiences can enhance students' learning beyond the classroom.
STEM jobs are growing in the UK and it is estimated there will be nearly 150,000 more jobs in this field by 2023, how can a trip through Sweet Chariot help students who are thinking of taking this career path?
"STEM subjects open up an incredible amount of opportunities to students looking for a great career in later life. Our trips are designed to educate students as well as inspiring them to do the best that they can when back in the classroom. Giving students an insight into the lives of people who work in STEM and providing once in a lifetime experiences.
Of the STEM trips that you offer, give the best insight into what a future career might look like?
"We believe STEM really is the future. With hundreds of amazing jobs that use science, technology, engineering and maths a career in any of these areas will excite any STEM enthusiasts. With careers ranging from Disaster Relief Specialist to Digital Musician, Stadium Designer to Astrophysicist, the options really are endless.
With our Science trips to CERN in Geneva, students who are looking for a future career in physics will visit the home of the world's most complex scientific instruments and might one day join the group of elite scientists who work there.
Are there opportunities to learn about STEM in most of the countries you travel too?
"Many of the countries we travel to have fantastic opportunities for learning more about STEM. With European destinations such as France, Belgium and Austria each having attractive excursions options for students that include the Cite de Sciences museum in Paris, the European Space Centre in Belgium and CERN laboratory in Geneva, there is plenty of choice.
The USA is also has fantastic opportunities for STEM with NASA running 3 or 5 day camps at the Kennedy Space Centre, can use principles STEM principles to solve challenges faced by astronauts in space.
Do you link in with the national curriculum on your STEM trips? And what extra resources are available to teachers and students when they book with you?
"We tailor our STEM trips to link with the national curriculum and create bespoke itineraries tailored to each teacher's requirements. Our tours support learning in Science, Technology and Engineering and Mathematics, providing students with interesting, educational experiences outside of the classroom.
Many activities and excursions in our STEM tours include resources linked to the national curriculum such as a CERN Study pack or worksheets and workbooks when visiting Disneyland Paris on a maths trip.
Is it all theory based study when students take a STEM trip or can they get hands on with technology to enhance their critical thinking?
"We believe in hands on learning and try to include interactive elements and excursions to our trips. Whether it is visiting the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida where students can use classroom learning to solve real-world challenges such as taking part in a simulated shuttle mission to launch, land and walk on Mars, or visiting museums such as the Cité des sciences in Pairs with interactive displays and hands on activities, there are plenty of opportunities for students to enhance their critical thinking on our STEM study trips.
What are the most popular aspects of STEM that teachers are enquiring about or are they looking for a good coverage across all the sciences?
"There is currently a good coverage across all the sciences and mathematics. The CERN laboratory in Geneva is a popular destination but there are also plenty of other opportunities for STEM teachers. Maths trips to Paris and Florence are great European destinations and for those looking to travel further afield, a trip to NASA in the USA is a once in a lifetime opportunity that inspires many young scientists.
What do you think are the advantages of taking a trip to learn about STEM overseas vs what students can learn purely in the classroom?
"We would encourage all students to experience STEM overseas and firmly believe that learning should not be limited to the classroom. Experiences from overseas school trips motivate students to succeed when they return to the classroom and by linking trips to curriculum, students will benefit from engaging experiences which will improve their performance once back at school.
Is there a country or destination you would recommend to a teacher looking to take a STEM trip?
"The USA has many exciting opportunities for STEM with both NASA and New York on the East Coast and for the adventurous; a trip to Silicon Valley in California is the ultimate destination for those looking for a future career in computer science and technology.
A European destination that we recommend for Design, Technology and engineering students would be Bologna & Venice. Not only do students have the opportunity to visit two beautiful cities but there are also visits to the Ferrari and Lamborghini factories as well as go-kart racing and exploring the many canals of Venice by gondola.
How do your STEM trips engage students who may not be quite as passionate about the subject?
"Our STEM trips provide incredible opportunities for students to learn in exciting, dynamic and inspiring environments. In all of our bespoke trips, we aim to provide unique experiences that engage every child even if they are not as passionate about the subject. By including engaging excursions such as a day in Disneyland Paris for maths students, or an opportunity to speak with real life astronauts at the Kennedy Space Centre, we hope that our trips demonstrate just how exciting and interesting STEM can be.
Subjects like art and design are a fundamental to the creative innovation side of STEM, do you offer cross curricular trips?
"We believe that cross-curricular trips are a fantastic option for schools and many destinations that we offer have activities and excursions for both STEM and art & design.
An example of this is our Computer Science and Art trip to New York, which explores street art in Brooklyn and includes a visit to the MOMA as well as a coding workshop at the Robot Foundry and a trip to the Microsoft store.
If you were to choose one STEM trip to recommend to a teacher what would it be and why?
"A popular STEM trip for physics and science students is to the CERN Laboratory in Geneva. It gives students a chance to visit the world's largest particle physics laboratory and to witness first hand some of the top physicists in the world conducting important scientific research that is admired across the globe.
A boat ride on the beautiful Lake Geneva, a visit to the UN Headquarters, the ICT Discovery Centre and the history of science museum are also great options for teachers and as one of the most stunning cities in Europe offering world-class entertainment, restaurants museums and accommodation, it is one of our favourite destinations.
If you are interested in hearing a bit more about how Sweet Chariot can help you with planning your next overseas STEM trip then why not get in touch here.
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Take your science students to Geneva in Switzerland and visit CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, to see the world's largest particle physics laboratory.
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