YHA Eden Project
The YHA Eden Project is within walking distance and the most convenient place to stay for your school trip to Eden and also provides a great base for your exploration of the wider Cornwall area.
The Youth Hostel is made from shipping containers, in keeping with their ethos of sustainable living. They are very experienced in handling school groups of all sizes.
There is even the option to add an evening bolt-on session to complete the Eden adventure suitable for any age of students on full-board for groups of 20 or more. These unique events give groups the fantastic opportunity to get on site once the Project is closed to the public – including inside the Rainforest Biome at night.
Rainforest Biome – the World’s Largest Indoor Rainforest
Feel the tropical heat in our stunning Rainforest Biome and experience four of the world's rainforest environments: Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America featuring over 1000 varieties of plants and temperatures of 18-35C
With the awe-inspiring domes and enormous trees towering above you, you'll follow the path deep into the vast indoor jungle and find surprises around every corner.
Rainforest Canopy Walkway
This Treetop walk in the Rainforest Biome has breathtaking views across the Biome, and helps explain the importance of rainforests.
The Walkway will hopefully inspire students to work to save these precious areas of our planet. Exhibits on the Canopy Walkway include;
Baka Camp - At this camp, you'll explore the way of life of the Baka indigenous people who live in the West African rainforests of Cameroon, the Congo basin and Gabon.
Canopy Camp - Explore an aerial laboratory and campsite where canopy scientists explore life at a different level. Here you'll learn how rainforests keep fed, clothed and healthy, produce weather that keeps you cool and watered and inspiring human technology.
Nest Platform - High above the ground, take in the stunning range of life in the rainforest. In 'nature's design studio' see how forms are produced that fit their function, from protective prickles to pollination mechanisms and from guttered leaves to garish flowers.
Biodiversity Chandelier - A spectacular focal point of the Rainforest Canopy Walkway, the chandelier is a collection of individual shapes that interlink to form clusters that explore the theme of biodiversity.
Meander through the landscapes of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California in this huge indoor garden. Within its Mediterranean climate discover the amazing variety of plants growing in these warm temperate regions of the world. Take an unforgettable journey through a paradise of brightly coloured flowers, gnarled olive trunks and bountiful vines.
The Core building
Inside this beautiful building based on the structure of a sunflower, students can press buttons; wind handles and peer inside things to learn about everything from ecosystems and evolution to climate change and plant resources.
There’s Interactive displays, moving exhibits, the ‘wall of hands’ and at the epicentre of the building, a 70-tonne granite sculpture.
What was once a sterile clay mine is now a vibrant global garden, brimming with plants, sculptures and play equipment.
Explore miles of paths that twist and turn up and down the slopes of the pit. You'll get breathtaking views of the Biomes and discover gardens and landscapes featuring everything from beautiful ornamental flowers to crops used for medicine, fuels, materials and food. Also home to the WEE Man and the Giant Bee.
WEEE Man Waste Sculpture
The WEEE Man is a 3.3-tonne structure which represents the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) the average British household throws away in a lifetime.
At seven metres high, his grimacing head towers over the Eden Project outdoor gardens. Mobile phones, mp3 players, lawn mowers and the like make up his bones and sinews; his teeth are computer mice; his ears are satellite dishes; and his brain is built from computer parts.
Marvel at this huge model of a bee set amidst our flowerbeds near the entrance to the Biomes, a reminder of how important pollinating insects such as bees are to flowers – and to us humans. Over a third of our food plants depend on pollinators to reproduce – providing us with fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables.
What to Take With You
Students and staff should bring:
- Equipment such as clipboards, pens and pencils (if visiting independently)
- A packed lunch (including a drink and, we recommend, an additional bottle of water)
- Layers of clothing, including appropriate outdoor clothing, to help cope with the variations in temperature between the indoor Biomes and outdoor gardens
Curriculum-linked School Workshops
The Eden educational team offer a range of curriculum-linked school workshops especially designed which make full use of this fantastic site. Workshops include all equipment as well as free teaching resources enabling your class to prepare for the workshop and to follow up on the activity.
Here are our top picks for Science groups:
Going to Extremes – 2 Hr (KS3)
The challenge is for students to identify and explain plant adaptations suitable for life in the rainforest and use ideas about evolution to explain the occurrence of these adaptations. Starting in the ‘Core’ building students are introduced to the idea of adaptation through a quiz, use of video and by handling props. In the Rainforest Biome students sketch and note examples of plant adaptations to the rainforest ecosystem and begin to hypothesise as to how these adaptations help the plant.
On our return to the Core students share ideas about how particular adaptations give a plant a competitive advantage. They then play a game in to investigate how plants have evolved these useful adaptations – the game develops their understanding of variation (within and between species), adaptation and natural selection all set within the context of the Rainforest ecosystem.
Finally, we consider how environmental change can lead to extinction. This takes place in the education centre, as well as the Rainforest Biome.
How Abund-ant? -4 Hr + (KS4)
This workshop gets students investigating the complex rainforest ecosystem in the Biome, and even undertaking their own rainforest research to contribute to a live dataset used by Eden’s Science Team.
Students begin by unravelling the complex relationships between different organisms present in Eden’s Rainforest Biome. They then focus more specifically on an investigation into one of the important symbiotic relationships present in the biome between the white-footed ant population and the ‘sap-sucking’ scale insects.
In the Rainforest Biome the students are responsible for surveying the size of the white footed ant population as well as the scale insects. The students use the same method and techniques as the Eden scientists use on a monthly basis.
On returning to the classroom the students use their data, together with secondary data and graphs compiled by Eden scientists, in order to calculate the number of white-footed ants in the Rainforest Biome. They use scientific ideas to discuss the relationship they have discovered between the ant population and the scale insects. Their data is passed onto the Science Team at Eden, who add it to the live database that they use to help monitor the health of the Rainforest Biome.
This takes place in the education centre, the Core, as well as in the Rainforest Biome.
Rainforest Climate Challenge -2Hr (KS3-4)
This workshop, which focuses on geography, citizenship, science and sustainable development, looks at the impact of climate change and explores some of the reasons for it, as well as realistic solutions.
Students will look at the interdependence between people and nature and how nature provides essential services. The group will study how the changing climate is affecting the lives of many Polynesians.
Building on the Polynesians theme, students explore the Rainforest Biome searching for essential plants for survival. On their return they will look at the impact of rainforests and deforestation on climate change.
Finally students will look at what this country is proposing to do about climate change and discuss what young people today can, realistically, do to contribute positively to the climate change debate.
This takes place in the education centre, as well as the Rainforest Biome.
Rainforest Ecology and Adaptation - 1 hr (KS5)
Rainforests are complex and biodiverse ecosystems which play a significant role in regulating climate across the globe. Life here must cope with extreme abiotic and biotic conditions. This session looks into the ecology of the rainforest, the challenges to life here and how plants have evolved adaptations to thrive. It also touches on some of the human pressures on these precious ecosystems and how that influences the ecology.
This classroom-based interactive session links strongly with Biology and Geography specifications and there is an optional linked activity that the students can complete the Biomes.
Jungle Connections – 2 Hr ( KS3)
Students are challenged to explore their connections with the rainforests of the world by exploring Eden’s own jungle.
The challenge starts with a review of students’ knowledge of rainforests and a hands-on activity to stimulate thinking about our connections to the rainforest and some of the associated issues. Students spend up to an hour in the Rainforest Biome, experiencing the reality of the tropical climate and finding further examples of their rainforest connections.
On returning to the classroom they will take the story of chocolate as an example for analysing trade relationships in more detail and investigating our power as consumers to make a difference.
This takes place in the education centre, as well as the Rainforest Biome.
Biodiversity under Threat- 1 hr (KS4-5)
All life on our planet is inter-dependent and all species have a role to play in their ecosystem. Conserving biodiversity and fully functioning ecosystems is key to the survival of all species. So, what does biodiversity actually do for us? Why and where is it being lost? And what can be done to halt the decline? After the presentation there is an optional linked activity that the students can complete in the Biomes.
Biodiversity in a Box - 2hr (KS3-4)
This workshop explores the importance of biodiversity, in which students seek out relevant plants at Eden and debate which ones could guarantee our future survival.
Deep under the Arctic ice, scientists have created a £6.5million seedbank with the ambition of conserving 4.5 million seed samples. Students investigate some of the key factors in plant conservation before setting off as a team to investigate Eden’s three Biomes in search of their own suggestions for plants to add to the seedbank.
On returning to the Core, students debate which of their plant finds should make it into the seedbank as top priority.
Finally, students delve a little deeper into the importance of biodiversity and look at some of the issues surrounding biodiversity conservation, including whether there are choices we can make which will make a difference.
This takes in the education centre, as well as around the Eden Project site and its Biomes.
Sustainable Attainable – 2 Hr (KS3-4)
Students are invited to investigate Eden’s green business credentials and then think about their own lives, college or career. Using the Eden Project as an example of a business with sustainability at the heart of its working practices pupils look at the meaning and execution of sustainability.
The students will explore what it means in the real world, by looking for examples of our approach and considering how effective they are. We will consider the big picture and discuss why sustainability is so important. Students finish by looking at how students can make a meaningful contribution now and in the future.
The students can explore the Rainforest Biome to find out how and why nature works in collaboration and what we can learn from this.
This takes place in the education centre, as well as the Rainforest Biome and the wider Eden site.