Educational activities

Breheimsenteret lies right between the Jostedalsbreen and Breheimen National Parks. The area is full of varied nature, with glaciers, mountains, and waters. We want to present information about the local nature and about climate change. By seeing the exhibition and exploring the exciting glacial landscape, visitors can experience and come closer to nature. The centre allows school classes and pupils to get an up-close look of the glacier and the vestiges it has left in the landscape.
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Langsua nasjonalpark

Contact us

Breheimsenteret
6871 Jostedal, Norway
T: +47 57 68 32 50
E: jostedal@jostedal.com

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Woman pointing at a glacier.

School visits

Does your school class or nursery want to visit Breheimsenteret?
We have set up programmes for nurseries and primary and lower secondary schools related to learning goals within science, social studies, and geography. We provide practical help to upper secondary schools, colleges, and universities that visit the area for fieldwork and outdoor teaching in the glacier landscape.

Do you want a visit from our nature guide?
We bring the necessary equipment and visit schools within reasonable distance from Jostedalen.

Our education programme is under development, and we are interested in developing new activities along with your school/nursery. Contact us in order to adapt your visit to your group as much as possible.

Examples of educational activities

Grades 1-4

  • The Landscape after the Glacier: How running water and grinding ice have formed the terrain around us. 1 h at school
  • Animals in the National Park: Get to know some of the animals that live in the national parks and find out which ones eat the others. 1–2 h at Breheimsenteret, can also be combined with exploring the glacier landscape
  • People near the Glacier: Stories and legends from the dramatic events of the Black Death and the Little Ice Age. 1–2 h at Breheimsenteret

Grades 5-7

  • Ice, Water, and Snow: The particle model, phase transitions, measurements of glaciers. 2.5 h at school
  • Roads to Jostedalen: The history of human traffic over the glacier and tourism. 1 h at Breheimsenteret
  • The Landscape after the Glacier: How ice and water have formed the landscape. 1 h at school
  • Glaciers and Climate: How the climate has changed throughout history, what a glacier is, why it comes into being, and why it recedes. 2 h at Breheimsenteret
  • Sustainable Development: Hydroelectric power and wild reindeer. 1 h at Breheimsenteret, can be combined with visits to power stations
  • Predators and Management: The conservation of predators is controversial and often conflicts with other interests. Pupils get to get know about the management of nature areas in Norway and about some of the challenges of wolverine conservation. 1 h at Breheimsenteret

Grades 8-10

  • Glaciers and the Landscape: Glaciers change according to the season and over the years. A glacier (bre) is distinguished from a snowdrift glacier (fonn) and grows and shrinks according to the changing weather conditions. In the exhibition, the pupils find answers and examples of how they have formed our landscape over thousands of years. 1–2 h both at and outside Breheimsenteret
  • Traces of the Ice: The pupils explore the glacier landscape and the vegetation that takes hold after the glacier has receded. They also try their hand at dating the landscape through lichenometry. 2–3 h outside Breheimsenteret

Nature guiding

Our knowledgeable guides take you on a trip through history and nature. In the moraine landscape that extends from Breheimsenteret to Nigardsbreen, you can see the transformations of the landscape that have taken place since the ice retracted. The trip’s duration and distance can be adapted to the group. During the peak months, there are daily departures from the car park at the Nigardsbrevatnet lake. For more information and to book a trip, please contact jostedal@jostedal.com.

    Children in nature

    The cold, hard facts

    • Glaciers are climate indicators; growth and withdrawal depend on how much snow falls during the winter and on how warm it is during the summer.
    • Glaciers are historical archives; artefacts that have been left behind in the glacier and that are encompassed by ice do not deteriorate, since they are not exposed to air. As a result, many old skis and hunting equipment from several thousand years ago have been found in Breheimen.
    • Glaciers have helped create the fjords and valleys that are so characteristic of Norway.
    • 90% of all the ice in the world is in Antarctica.
    • Around 1740, during the so-called Little Ice Age, Nigardsbreen extended a further 4.5 km compared with today, stopping almost by Breheimsenteret.
    • The climate on Earth has swung back and forth between ice ages and intermediate periods many times.
    • Norway is the only country in Europe where reindeer are still found in the wild, which means that we bear a particular responsibility for taking care of the animals.
    • The Jostedalsbreen Plateau is one of the largest wilderness areas in Norway.

    Glacier photos from Jostedalen

    Many of the glaciers around Jostedalsbreen have been regularly photographed for certain periods during the past hundred years. Glacier photos are interesting to study in order to find out how the glaciers have changed. Sometimes pictures do say more than words. A photo archive is available at the Geological Survey of Norway website. Search for: Bergsetbreen Nigardsbreen Austerdalsbreen Stegholtbreen
    Bergsetbreen fotografert i 2008Bergsetbreen fotografert i 2008
    Fagerstølsbreen i 2019Fagerstølsbreen i 2019
    Nigardsbreen i 2018Nigardsbreen i 2018

    Jostedalsrypa

    The legend of Jostedalsrypa (“the Jostedal Grouse”) is one of the most famous stories from when the Black Death devastated Norway in the mid-fourteenth century. The legend tells of a girl who supposedly was the only survivor in Jostedalen after the plague ravished the area.

    If you want to learn more about this legend, a good deal of information is available from the local historical society (Jostedal historielag) and at Breheimsenteret’s exhibition.

    Picture of Jostedalsrypa.

    The JOSTICE project

    JOSTICE is a major research project about Jostedalsbreen and the people who live around the glacier. The goal is to survey the terrain beneath the glacier and find out what happens to the area around the glacier when it recedes. The findings of the project shall be presented at Breheimsenteret and the other visitor centres around Jostedalsbreen. Take a look at JOSTICE’s website.