Thanks for your comments (Note from the teachers uploading this: we will be sure to read out your comments to all the students on our bus journey tomorrow!:) ). We are all doing very well!
WOW – today was a very, very busy day, but we made it through with energy to spare:)
First – we spent the morning at Westgarth Primary School. So many things happened there, so this part is going to be quite long. The Australian students there were so kind and friendly! When we entered their assembly, a group of students played us a few songs on the recorder – they were really good! We also performed our item for them – it was scary, but they clapped for us very loudly, so we must have done alright. Sobi was also interviewed by Ms Tham in front of their assembly, about herself and why she was excited to be there. We all thought she did a great job, especially since must be scary to speak in front of so many strangers from a different country:)
By the way – did you know that they have only 450 students in their school? That includes Prep (like K2) and Grades 1 – 6 (like our Primary 1 – 6). That’s so small, compared to the 1200 students in our school! Everything felt so cosy, and the whole school was decorated in students’ artwork. We also found out that their classes are sometimes made up of students of different ages! For example, some of us sat in on Ms Nettie’s class, and there were Primary 3 and 4 students in her class. She said that it is how they run their lessons for the whole year, and that they do that with their Primary 1 and 2 classes, too! That is very different from Eunos Primary. There were also only about 25 students in her class, while most of us have 40 students in our class. We really liked the small class sizes. Ms Nettie got some of us to do an activity where we thought about the similarities and differences between Eunos Pri and Westgarth – actually, even though there are many differences, there are also many similarities – for example, they have recess too, although during their recess, they play on their own playground (which is very cool!) and then they have lunch break when they eat. We also took part in their Kitchen Garden Programme, where we made our own food. We made Orange cardamom muffins which we got to eat at the end of our visit – they were very delicious! We also saw their garden, which was full of fruits and vegetables – we saw eggplants, lemons, parsley, mint, chives, and even a head of broccoli (did you know that it is actually the centre of the plant, and that it is surrounded by huge leaves? But we only eat the centre, which is the flower.) The principal of Westgarth Primary, Ms Grace Conway, told us that she was so impressed with us, she was going to give us a present that they usually only give to teachers, because we were all like teachers in the classroom and everyone learnt a lot. Now we all have a very beautiful pen with Westgarth Primary School written on it :)
After that, we went and visited CERES, which is a big area where they have many different demonstrations of how we can live sustainably. Mr Ian and Mr Nick explained to us that sustainability means “keeping things going” – and at CERES, they are all about “keeping the Earth going” by educating people on how to use less resources and use different types of energy that don’t consume fossil fuels. We saw an Eco-House, which has many cool features such as solar panels, insulation, and walls which absorb heat. These all help the house to use less energy. For example, the hot water in the house is heated using solar energy (unlike in Singapore where we use electric heaters). We also saw a car that runs only on electricity, and the electricity comes from solar panels too – so the car uses completely renewable energy! Did you know that coal, which we use in power stations to make electricity, takes at least 20 million (and up to 80 million) years to form? So, if we keep digging it up to make more electricity, we will not be able to “keep going” for very long – that’s why looking for sustainable sources of energy is so important.
Finally, we went to the Rethink Education Centre, which is all about recycling. There were two presenters, Organza and Taffeta, who sang songs about why and how to recycle. We had a few “quiz shows”, where they taught us about how plastics, glass, aluminium, steel, and paper are recycled. They also taught us about how to shop wisely to reduce the amount of rubbish we produce. They were so funny! After that, we got to see the actual HUGE machines that sort out all the recycled waste. We walked out onto a platform, where we could see everything. The machines are so noisy!!! They take up a very very big space, and the machines are very tall. They do most of the work, but we also saw some people helping to sort the rubbish. The air also smelt a bit strange in the recycling plant, but of course, since there’s so much rubbish there!
It was a very long day, but we learnt many things. At the end of the day, we all went to a very beautiful Italian restaurant on Lygon St, which the teachers said is a very popular area for Australians to hang out with their friends at. We had our own space on the second floor of the restaurant, and we ate pasta, chicken wings, pizza, and ice cream! Yummy! Then it was back to the hotel.
We have to pack for our trip to the Great Ocean Road tomorrow. Mrs Choy said that it is one of the famous beautiful places in the world, so we’re all very very excited (and we will make sure our cameras are fully charged!). It has been a very long blog entry (and a very long day)…so, goodbye for now!:)
With big smiles from all of us,
The students and staff of Science Alive!
(p.s. Photos are coming! There hasn't been much time to put them up, everything has been so busy!)