Year 6 students from our College have recently undertaken an education tour of the national capital. Students have been given the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy. The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their civics and citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion, the Australian Government contributes funding of $60 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion. This money has been attributed in entirety to reduce the amount paid by each family.
Here is a recount of two of the students’ experiences and highlights of their trip.
In Week 7, some very fortunate Year 6 students from Suncoast Christian College, visited Canberra. On our way, we stopped at Circular Quay and walked around the Sydney Opera House. After going around the Opera House we caught a ferry to Taronga Zoo.
At Taronga Zoo, we saw the seal show and Eva was one of the volunteers to go and meet the seal. Bondi and Pepper were two of the amazing seal performers. We also got to see meerkats, chimpanzees, tigers and koalas. After Taronga Zoo, we went to our accommodation at Canberra Park. The food was superb. For breakfast, we had pancakes, sausages, bacon and eggs, waffles. We also had dessert every night.
On the second day, we had the pleasure of seeing the Embassies for many different countries and saw the biggest embassy in the world; America. We also got to see a lot of other countries like Asia, Egypt, America, Japan, China and Indonesia.
Another big highlight was Questacon. The big slide was six metres tall. There was also an earthquake room where you had to build a tower that could survive an earthquake. In a huge room with a giant moon, there were so many more fun activities that made education so much fun.
The accommodation was great and we each had a cabin with three other people and an ensuite in each room. At the end of the day, we all came together for dinner and then came together in our chill out area and watched movies before bed. On one of the nights, we did Just Dance, which was so much fun.
One of the more educational places was The Royal Australian Mint. We learnt how coins are made and how the Australian economy has originated throughout time. We also met a robot Titan who is VERY strong. He can lift up to 750kg of coins. He is also very careful when lifting and takes his time to concentrate to make sure he has a good grip.
At Parliament House, we saw the Senate and The House of Representatives. We also got to do a mini role-play of the passing of a bill in the Parliamentary Education Office. This was a real highlight as we got to wear costumes and debate a bill as if we were in Parliament. After we finished our role-play, we went up to the roof and saw the flag from the highest point of Parliament House.
Our excursion to the Electoral Education Office, which was a new edition to the trip, saw us all participating in a vote and learning all about how the Preferential Voting System works. It was really interesting and we learned a lot about why we need to vote also.
Another of our excursions was to the National Museum of Australia, where we went to the interactive futures zone called K-Space where we made our own vehicles of the future and did a virtual tour of a city of the future.
One of the places we enjoyed visiting the most was the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) where we saw various sports and the interactive called the Vortex. It was amazing. We were also privileged to meet some of the athletes who led us on a tour of the facilities, including the Olympic Training Pool, which had an underwater viewing station for the coaches.
The Australian War Memorial was a real highlight and we were overwhelmed when we went to the Wall of Remembrance and saw just how many soldiers have died for our country. The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier really brought to life the fact that people had sacrificed their lives to save our country. The Discover Zone was our favourite part of the War Memorial as it had interactive activities for us to do and we were able to sit inside of a real helicopter, submarine and a life-like trench.
Thank you to our amazing bus driver Mark who we all miss, and his amazing tour, and also to the teachers and Mrs Fleming for giving up their time to take us down. It was a great experience, lots of fun and we learnt so much.
We also would like to thank everyone involved in making this trip possible and as fun and enjoyable as possible.
By Madison and Miranda
Year 6 Students