Expand Your STEM Horizons with EF Educational Tours’ Itineraries
EF Educational Tours—a world leader in experiential student travel—recognizes that there is an expansive world of possibilities beyond established history and performing arts itineraries. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is becoming increasingly prominent in school curriculums, and students want to apply environmental science, sustainability, robotics and health to their out-of-school trips in addition to the classroom.
Luckily, EF Educational Tours offers a diverse slate of STEM-centric programming that goes beyond surface-level student trips. Participants can meet with scientists, tour tech campuses and see how STEM has vast real-world applications. EF’s accommodating team can handle lodging, dining and transportation, making your next student trip unforgettable and logistically worry-free. An assigned Tour Director stays with your group 24/7, providing local insight and knowledge. Below are some of EF Tours’ many STEM itinerary options.
North American STEM Tours
STEM Discovery: San Francisco
Home to numerous tech campuses, world-class research universities and a culture of innovation, the Bay Area serves as the canvas for EF’s San Francisco itinerary. Student groups will pass through some of the city’s most iconic sites (Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf) and participate in an interactive scavenger hunt through downtown. STEM-centric activities will include a behind-the-scenes visit to the California Academy of Sciences and tour of the University of California-Berkley campus. Students interested in the natural world have the opportunity to explore a redwood forest or the Marine Mammal Center.
STEM Discovery: New York & Boston
EF’s New York itinerary includes visits to traditional tourist destinations such as Times Square, the Empire State Building and Broadway, but there is also a STEM-heavy emphasis with a coding workshop and and engineering-centric tour of the Brooklyn Bridge. Groups will then continue to Boston, where they will have dinner at Quincy Market, tour a research laboratory and embark on a duck boat tour through Boston Harbor. Students will also experience MIT—one of America’s premier research institutions—by visiting its museum and seeing its campus.
STEM Discovery: Toronto
Toronto’s blend of tech innovation and rich arts history make for an excellent six-day itinerary, which includes a stunning view of the skyline from the CN Tower,stops at Queen’s Park, and a planetarium show at the University of Toronto. Continue to the Ontario Science Museum, where students will learn about Canada’s biodiversity, sports medicine and astronomy. Groups will also receive an immersive day in Toronto’s acclaimed performing arts community. Activities will include creativity workshop with famous improv company Second City, a guided tour of the Art Gallery of Ontario and a live theater performance. An additional excursion to Niagara Falls can extend your visit, with an excursion on the Hornblower vessel and an IMAX film.
STEM Discovery: Vancouver
Vancouver, surrounded by temperate rainforests and a stunning coastline, is also a global innovator in environmental sustainability and urban development. EF’s engaging STEM Vancouver itinerary includes visits to the Beatty Biodiversity Museum and TELUS Science World, where students will participate in an interactive workshop. Beyond the city, students will discover the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and meet scientists committed to researching and sustaining it. Activities will include a gondola ride up Grouse Mountain, a field-based workshop at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Center and a visit to the Brittania Mine Museumwhere students will learn about the evolution of the mining industry. Cultural immersion will take place at Granville Island, which is home to a massive public market, group-friendly dining and the Vancouver Theatresports League.
STEM Discovery: Boston
Boston, while a popular destination for historic student tours, is also home to over 2,000 tech start-ups, the densest collection of world-class universities in the United States and a pristine New England coastline. EF’s relationships with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and FIRST Robotics also make for an exceptional STEM-based Boston itinerary. Groups will receive an introductory tour of the MIT campus before visiting the MIT Museum, and participating in a STEM workshop. Next, students will venture to Manchester, New Hampshire to visit the headquarters of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which encourages participation in the engineering and technology fields. There, they can tour the facility, learn about FIRST’s prestigious robotics competition and learn to program robots on their own.
International STEM Tours
STEM Discovery: London
Combining classic sites of London and Edinburgh with STEM-centric attractions makes the “Health Sciences in Great Britain” itinerary ideal for student groups interested in the medical field. In addition to seeing Edingburgh Castle and the William Wallace Monument, students will also see the oldest medical institution in the English-speaking world, learn about Edinburgh’s grave robbing history, and visit Mary King’s Close, a network of subterranean streets that once housed victims of the plague. In London, visits to the Tower of London and a Jack the Ripper tour will be interspersed with stops at the Florence Nightingale Museum and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (BARTS). Students will also participate in a forensics workshop, where they’ll learn criminal investigation skills like fingerprint analysis and crime scene assessment.
Another option for student groups is “STEM Discovery: London.” This 9 to 11 day itinerary will particularly engage those with an interest in coding, as it includes a visit to Bletchley Park. It was here during World War II that mathematicians deciphered the Enigma code and assisted the Allies to victory, and students can see the real Colossus computer and crack codes of their own during an interactive activity. Other STEM activities will include a forensics workshop, a Jack the Ripper walking tour, and a visit to the Royal Observatory along the Thames River.
Sustainable Living in Germany & Switzerland
Germany and Switzerland are at the forefront of clean energy and sustainability, and on an EF tour, students will be exposed to these nations’ rich history and modern innovation. Stops will include an urban farm in Berlin, the picturesque Black Forest, and the medieval city of Freiberg (now reinvented as an eco-friendly hub). Here, you’ll have the opportunity to explore green buildings, bike trails, and urban gardens. Students will also hike with an environmental scientist through the preserved Entlebuch Biosphere and tour a nuclear bunker in Lucerne, which is outfitted with an entire residential infrastructure.
Waterways and Wetlands in Panama
STEM groups will want to consider one of EF’s most innovative itineraries, where students can work alongside scientists in the fields of wetland conservation and ecology. After arriving in Panama City, students will visit the Panama Viejo Ruins (a once-grand Spanish city), Panama City’s colorful historic quarter, and the Biomuseo. Groups will then venture to the Metropolitan Natural Park, where they might spot toucans, sloths or other rare species with the help of an expert guide. At a tropical research station on the Caribbean coast, students will collect data and make observations in a mangrove forest before observing wildlife during a biologist-led boat ride on the Panama Canal. Your visit will conclude with a culturally-enriching Panamanian folklore show.