Who says educational visits canâ€™t include chocolate? Certainly not Hans Imhoff, the legendary chocolate maker who set up Cologneâ€™s Chocolate Museum to inform the public about the history, cocoa cultivation and production process that goes into making the sweet treat.
A visit to the museum is more than an excuse for your pupils to gorge themselves. The building in which the museum is housed is a triumph of modern architecture on Cologneâ€™s shoreline. Combining old and new, a former customs office has been converted to house the exhibition, and a new ship-shaped glass construct has been added in which chocolate is produced for visitors to see (and even taste).
Hans Imhoffâ€™s dream was to create an exhibition which would inform and entertain; as a centrepiece he wanted a fountain of liquid chocolaty goodness to wow visitors. Today, your class can not only take a school tour of this fascinating space and enjoy dedicated workshops about the production of this very special confectionery, but they can also stop off at the fountain and taste the end product for themselves.
Learn How Chocolate is Made
Educational visits to the museum include a range of tours and workshops designed to allow pupils to find out more about the production of the world-famous treat. Students are encouraged to sample chocolate throughout its production process from the raw cocoa bean (which they can handle and peel for themselves), to its liquid form, and its final guise as a moulded sweet treat. The process is explained and your class can watch the transformation for themselves in a special extended tour.
In the modern glass structure of the museum chocolate is being manufactured and the glass walls and galleries allow pupils to literally watch the entire process and see the machines which aid the manufacturing process for themselves. At the end of the school tour, your class will be shown the stunning modern fountain, filled with 200kg of warm, liquid Lindt chocolate, and will be allowed to sample some of it for themselves.
Cocoa and Sustainability
Itâ€™s fascinating for students to learn where the foil-wrapped bars they see in their local corner shop or supermarket actually originate from. On the Sustainability tour your class will discover where cocoa grows, who farms it, and even what being a cocoa farmer is like. The exhibition centres on the lives of farmers and what is being done to improve their conditions. Discussions will be centred around sustainable practices and fair treatment of those growing the precious bean, and what each student can do help improve sustainable manufacturing processes.
There is certainly a lot to occupy students on educational visits to the German city of Cologne. To make sure you donâ€™t miss out on any treats like the Chocolate Museum, along with a host of other fascinating sights in the city, seek the advice of a specialised educational tour operator to create an itinerary specifically designed for your class and their learning objectives.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational visits 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.
This article is copyright free.