Whether your students are budding scientists, engineers or performance artists, the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, will have something to keep them all enthralled on a residential trip to the city. Set in the dry river bed of the diverted Turia River, the stunning work of local architect Santiago Calatrava is a homage to contemporary design and modern learning.
The La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (as it’s known locally) has so much to offer students of the sciences and the arts that it is worth dedicating more than one day of your residential trip to the city to exploring its five main educational exhibition centres.
Here’s a brief overview of what your students can expect from each area.
Paulau de Les Arts Reina Sofia (The Valencia Opera House)
Likely to enrapture arts and architecture students in equal measure, the performing arts space at the City is so vast in scale it is like a cathedral celebrating the artistic productions it puts on. The 55,000m² space offers four separate performance halls, including the main one which can seat an impressive 1,800 people.
Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe (Prince Felipe Museum of Science)
Science students will find themselves enthralled by this stunning building (inspired by the skeleton of a whale) and its fascinating interactive exhibits. With exhibitions which students can touch and experiment with they can explore zones focusing on space, technology and DNA, there’s even a 34m Foucault Pendulum (one of the longest in the world) for pupils to examine.
L’Hemisfèric (Laserium, Planetarium and IMAX cinema)
Referred to locally as ‘the eye of the city’, the Hemisfèric is a visual treat for students visiting the City of Arts and Sciences. Let your class drink in the educational exhibitions at the planetarium and IMAX cinema before enjoy the breathtaking technological entertainment of the Laserium.
Whether you students are interested in marine biology or not, they will love the vast aquarium at the City, the largest in Europe. Divided into ten distinct areas including the Mediterranean, polar oceans, tropical seas and the Red Sea aquarium, Oceanografic is a beautiful architectural blend of glass, metal and water, with gleaming pools both outside and in.
Your class can explore the world’s main marine environments from mangrove swamps to sea ‘gardens’ full of rare aquatic plants. But always the biggest hit with students is the shark tunnel, where the pupils can walk through a shark tank and watch these beautiful creatures swim above them.
Perfect for Your Residential Trip
Whether your residential trip to Valencia is about art, science or language, a visit to the City of Arts and Sciences will engage your students in a breadth of subjects which will have them aching to learn more. While many exhibitions are permanent, there are some fantastic temporary ones too. It is certainly worth while getting in touch with a specialist educational tour operator to find out what upcoming exhibitions tie in with your own particular curriculum to make the most of this fantastic resource.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in residential trip itineraries for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveller, John is very passionate about providing students with valuable and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. By sharing his expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and bring their studies to life.