Despite possessing an element of fun and novelty, it is important for teachers to remember that school trips should, first and foremost, be educational. Conversely, it is also important to bear in mind that, while didactic in purpose, these outings should also be interesting and engaging enough to be considered a treat, and to allow students to retain what they have learned through them.
Choose the Destination Wisely
Fortunately, teachers taking their pupils on school day trips to France will have their job made significantly easier on both fronts, as the capital, Paris, possesses several spaces that perfectly capture the allure of learning through fun. One such space, and one almost unique to Paris, is the Cité des Sciences (City of Sciences), Europe’s largest scientific museum and a mandatory stop for any primary or secondary school class taking school day trips to France.
Cité des Sciences
Located in the Parc de la Villette area of the City of Lights, the sprawling complex known as Cité des Sciences offers a number of different attractions, all revolving around the common theme of science and technology. Among the areas sure to delight children and teenagers on school day trips to France are a planetarium, an aquarium, an IMAX cinema, and a submarine dubbed ‘L’Argonaute’ (The Argonaut). All of these areas allow children and young adults to learn through play, and have the common goal of fostering an interest in science and technological developments in younger generations.
From Abattoir to Attraction
The City of Sciences’ origins may be grim – the complex was reconverted from an unfinished abattoir in the early-to-mid 1980s – but its six levels currently constitute one of the main attractions in the city for and pupils on school day trips to France, being visited by an average of five million people each year. Each floor is divided into a number of areas, with names such as the ‘City of Children’ and the ‘Numeric Crossroads’, ensuring visitors find an area to fit their interests regardless of what strand of the scientific world they are most focused on. The three gigantic greenhouses facing the park are merely an added bonus, sure to excite nature enthusiasts.
The complex also includes an eating area, a scientific library, and several auditoriums, guaranteeing its multi-faceted appeal, and an adequate infrastructure to support the levels of traffic. This infrastructure also allows the Cité to host conferences, such as the recent International Salon For Peace Initiatives.
All in all, the reasons that make the City of Sciences a mandatory stop in any school day trips to France are clear and evident enough to justify any teacher including this excellent Parisian complex on the itinerary.