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The Best Destinations for STEM Students to Visit in 2024

Planning a STEM study trip this year? Here are the top five global destinations for students studying STEM subjects from specialised travel management company, Diversity Travel. The feature touches upon the key theme for British Science Week this year, ‘Time’. 

This week, the United Kingdom is celebrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as part of the 30th anniversary of British Science Week. The theme this year is ‘Time’, remembering and honouring past inventions while also looking ahead to the future. For students of STEM subjects, a great way to appreciate the past, present, and future, and to experience first-hand the importance of advancements made in each of the technical disciplines, is by going on a study trip abroad. But, with so many different destinations to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out, here is a list of five of the most stimulating STEM trips abroad that students and teachers alike will enjoy.

  1. Geneva, Switzerland

If the stunning geographical location wasn’t enough to draw students and teachers alike to this mountainous city, the museums and nuclear research laboratories make it the perfect setting to get stuck into textbook content.

Whilst the Natural History Museum and the History of Science Museum are must-sees for the trip, the star of the show is CERN, home to Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. A tour of the control rooms, research laboratories and engineering facilities, paired with a trip around the permanent exhibitions will provide an incredible insight into the world of physics. Students will learn about the science behind the LHC and how it’s helping to unlock the secrets of the universe. Sounds like an appropriate way to celebrate the theme of ‘Time’ this year.

Stopping off at the SIG Solar III energy pavilion and a guided tour of the Verbois Dam will round off the trip nicely – and leave an afternoon for the students to explore Lake Geneva.

  1. Reykjavík, Iceland

Another location boasting striking landscapes, visiting Reykjavík will add a breath of fresh air to the STEM curriculum. With more of a focus on the natural and geographical sciences, there is no better place to teach about geology and biodiversity.

A visit to the Golden Circle will expose students to the raw beauty of the Thingvellir National Park, Kerið Volcano Crater and Gullfoss Waterfall. Other key geographical locations to visit include the ominous Reynisdrangar Rocks, the Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and the Blue Lagoon. 

The immersive exhibitions at the Perlan Observatory and the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center will enrich the trip further, as well as exploring Reykjavík. 

  1. Tokyo, Japan

This urban jungle will mesmerise students, and is guaranteed to be the trip of a lifetime. 

Dive headfirst into the TEPIA Advanced Technology Gallery for an immersive and interactive experience detailing the latest developments in science, engineering and technology. The Tsukuba Space Centre has an essential role in the government plans for aerospace development, and a tour of the Astronaut Training Facility will inspire students to consider their career path in STEM.

With so many museums to choose from, it is important to remember that Tokyo itself will increase the cultural capital of all students, exposing them to new foods and lifestyles. 

  1. Houston, USA

There will be no problems keeping students engaged on a study trip to Houston, with Houston Space Centre being the star of the show. 

A guided tour of the space centre is a non negotiable for a STEM study trip, plunging students into the world of space exploration and the science behind it. If they’ve been struggling to see a future in STEM, this will be the trip to inspire. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a nature sanctuary that is the home to diverse wildlife and plants. 

There is a plethora of museums to visit, alongside a zoo for those learning about animals in biology. The rich city of Houston offers rich insight into robotics, mathematics and many other areas of the curriculum that can be difficult to place into context. 

  1. London, England

To plan an engaging STEM study trip, some colleges may not want to look further than London. 

Full of museums, London is a great place to explore the history of science, and the evolution of the creatures that roam our planet. The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is a key location for the trip, where students can stand on the Prime Meridian Line, where the very concept of global time was established. Consider visiting the Centre of the Cell’s STEM Pod Experience, a great interactive science show designed to teach visitors about cell biology and medical research. 

Other highlights of a trip could include the Sea Life Centre, to study marine life up close, and the London Eye, to take in all of the city. 

All of these destinations have the potential to be enriching and engaging for STEM students who are struggling to place the curriculum into context. Study trips are an essential part of learning, to bring teaching outside of the library and provide students with essential life skills.

By Petra Albrecht, Head of Diversity Study Trips (Maternity Cover)

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