Dolni Oblast Vitovice School Visit

How many schools have a European Cultural Heritage Site within walking distance? PORG International School does and we went there to meet up with our friends from Stramberk Elementary School to sample some of Ostrava’s unique cultural heritage for ourselves.

The site is the Lower Vitkovice Area. In the past it was a vast industrial complex of coal mines, blast furnaces and foundries. Nowadays it boasts two interactive science and technology centres, full of hands-on activities for kids to play around with and see how things work.

We met our friends at the U6 Science And Technology Centre and started off with some small activities to help them practice their English and for some of our braver kids to practice their Czech.

The U6 Science And Technology Centre used to be a power station, burning coke gas and producing electricity. Inside, we had a tour of power from before the Industrial Revolution until today. Many of the exhibits demonstrate principles we study in Craft and Technology classes, so the children were soon lifting each other off the ground with levers and pulleys, which we haven’t got the space for in the classroom!

After the Steam Age exhibits, we passed into the Electric age. Here we tried driving buses and motorbikes on a computer simulator and pedalling bikes connected to dynamos to see just how hard it is to make electricity without steam!

There are cars and motorbikes to sit on and try out, as well as a but, an airliner and even a submarine! This last one is a reproduction of the Nautilus from Jules Vernes’ novel, 20000 Leagues Under The Sea.

The machinery spaces under the power hall floor have been converted with all sorts of experiments to show how sound and light waves travel. It’s very colourful and very, very noisy! Needles to say, everyone had a great time generating colour and noise.

It takes about 20 minutes to walk from PORG International School to the Science And Technology Centre in the Lower Vitkovice Area, so it’s an ideal school trip to get a little more practical experience of the things we learn about in class. It’s also a nice monument to the unique cultural history of Ostrava, ‘the steel heart of the republic’. Wherever our children go after they leave our school, we hope they will remember the hard work and ingenuity which built our modern society!