Expedition Iceland February 2017 (Northern lights, engineering and wonders of Iceland) - STEM study visit RC463 / M02

Start date
13 Jan 17
Premier Inn Rugby, Premier Inn Rugby, M6 Junction 1, Rugby CV23 0WE View on Google Map



Research Councils UK

"An absolutely invaluable experience, amazing scenery, opportunities to develop resources and discuss teaching with other professionals from a variety of experience levels and types of institutions. One of the best bits of cpd I have ever had!"  (Participant, October 2016)


Study visits to sites of STEM interest are organised to complement contemporary science. The STEM study visit to Iceland aims to enhance subject knowledge and understanding about applications of science and involves working with experts in the field. It will also be useful for identifying Iceland as a potential site for school visits.

This expedition has been designed to give participants the opportunity to experience an area of the natural world which has recently been at the centre of STEM relevant stories. From earthquakes to Mars training, Iceland is a destination that can bring STEM subjects to life in the classroom!

The main expedition area will be in the South Central area of Iceland, an area that is characterised by glaciers, thermal springs, volcanic ash fields and vast mountains.

We will be hearing from researchers from the University of Iceland who have an in depth understanding of the seismology of this volcanic island and who will talk about how buildings are used to monitor this activity and engineered to ensure that any damage resulting from earthquakes is reduced. We will hear about a case study using a bridge over the River Thorsa and then go to visit this later in the week. We will also hear from a researcher from the Icelandic Meterological Office who studies solar activity to produce accurate aurora forecasts for tourists wanting to see the Northern Lights, which we hope will also form part of the expedition. Our own resident astronomer will explain features of the night sky and provide subject knowledge enhancement in the field of astronomy and the aurora, if we are lucky enough to see them.

The STEM study visit includes a compulsory training and networking weekend in Rugby on the evening of Friday 13 and Saturday 14 January 2017 which participants must attend. Accommodation is included for the training weekend, but food is not. The training weekend will begin with an evening meal in Rugby.


The STEM study visit is run by the Central region of the Science Learning Network. The expedition will be supported in Iceland by a qualified and experienced expedition leader.

The expedition

The STEM study visit will see participants learn from research experts in Iceland through a number of lectures and presentations during the course of the visit. As well as the researchers, we will visit the state-of-the-art Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Station to see how geothermal energy is harnessed in an environmentally sensitive way, Fridheimar, a farm in the geothermal region that uses the natural energy to heat greenhouses to grow tomatoes and other exotic crops, the edge of the North American plate at Thingvellir, the thermal springs at Geysir, bubbling mud pools at Krysuvik and the magnificent Gulfoss waterfall.

Each participant will also have the opportunity to design and carry out a small scale project in their own area of interest and that of their own school/college and students. Each project should tie in to the National Curriculum and where possible link to scientific research currently taking place. Some examples of projects that were undertaken in May 2014 can be found on the STEM Iceland YouTube Channel (http://goo.gl/Bj7k0 )

CPD leaders will work closely with all participants throughout the planning phase, giving advice on the type and nature of projects which could be carried out.

Training and preparation

In order to meet the other participants, prepare for the expedition and to support the development of your science project, there will be a training weekend from the evening of Friday 13 to Saturday 14 January 2017. The expedition to Iceland itself will take place from 14-18 February 2017.

Accommodation for the training weekend and expedition will be in shared rooms.

More information

This CPD includes a compulsory training and networking weekend and five days in Iceland (RC463 M02) costing £1095. You will receive an RCUK bursary of £720 towards the cost of expedition on completion of the Network’s Impact Tool Kit (ITK). The total cost of the training is therefore reduced from £1095 to £375 on completion of the Impact Award process. In order to qualify, participants will need to be from a state funded school (including maintained schools, academies, free schools and colleges). See https://www.stem.org.uk/faqs#RCUK_Bursaries for details.

The CPD fees includes return flights from the Luton in the UK to Reykjavik, (depart 14 February and return back to the UK on 18 February), accommodation and fees, expedition food and local transport. The fees does not include travel insurance, personal expenditure, the meal on the Friday evening or Saturday breakfast of the training  weekend or final night meal in Iceland. Transport to/from the training weekend and Luton airport is at the participant's cost.

How to book

To secure your place, participants need to enrol on the course and then send a copy of the photo page of their passport to w.jarvis@stem.org.uk

Once a passport has been received and the flight booked for the participant, the school will be charged for the course. By enrolling and sending through your passport details you are agreeing to this. A name can be changed from to someone from the same school, however, the cost of changing the name on the flights will be passed onto the school.



You will be able to:

  • enhance your subject interest and knowledge of contemporary science in real life contexts
  • increase your confidence and knowledge of locations to facilitate learning outside the classroom
  • develop your awareness of careers in STEM subjects and consider how to improve students’ knowledge of STEM progression routes


Expedition Iceland October 2016 - day 1 13 January 201716:00-21:00Venue address
Expedition Iceland October 2016 - day 214 January 201708:30-13:00Venue address
Expedition Iceland October 2016 - day 314 February 201706:00-20:00Venue address
Expedition Iceland October 2016 - day 4 15 February 201709:00-17:00Central
Expedition Iceland October 2016 - day 516 February 201709:00-19:00Central
Expedition Iceland October 2016 - day 617 February 201709:00-21:00Central
Expedition Iceland October 2016 - day 7 18 February 201709:00-22:45Central




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Teachers or technicians working in state-funded schools or colleges in the UK are eligible for these subsidies which can be used to contribute to covering the cost of course fees, supply cover, travel, accommodation, or equipment for your school. Find out more.

State-funded school or collegeActivity fee£1,095.00 +VATSubsidy available*£720.00
Fee-paying school or college (independent)Activity fee£1,095.00 +VAT

Participants from outside the UK will be charged the course fee and an additional £120 per day plus VAT.

Outside the UK? Fee information

Check your school subsidy status

The subsidy value may be higher for your school or college.

Additional information

For courses at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, fees include meals and accommodation for the duration of the course. 


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