Hi everyone, we’re back from Phillip Island bursting with more stories.
This morning, we visited Amaze“N”Things, which is a big playground filled with optical illusions and puzzles. There is a gigantic maze there, where the sides of the maze are much taller than any of us – even the teachers! We were all running around inside the maze for a long time, trying to locate the four flags and their “CONGRATULATIONS!” signs. A few of us succeeded, but most of us had a great early morning 1.6km run, as we were running in circles :D After the maze, we entered Puzzle Island, where we experienced the gravity room (gravity seems to work upwards in the room, but that’s only because the WHOLE room is tilted), the shrinking room (where one of us could appear very small, and the other very very large), a rotating room (where the room is rotating but you feel like YOU are rotating!) and a huge mirror maze (which was very confusing, because you could never tell what was real and what was just a reflection). Many of us who were brave enough also tried the “Look Out!” slide, which is almost vertical at the top. To go down the slide, we had to first wear orange overalls, then climb a flight of stairs to the top. After that, climbed over the edge, and hung onto a bar (of course, some staff from AMaze‘N’things were guiding us). The hardest and scariest part was letting go, because for a little while we felt like we were falling into nothing. Those of us who tried it (including the four teachers) agreed that it was really AWESOME FUN! In fact, some of us went back for a second try!:) The whole morning at AMaze‘N’Things was so much fun, and all of us piled onto the bus with big smiles.
Our next destination was the Wonthaggi Wind Farm. We got up close to a wind turbine, which is pure white and has a tall pillar with three large blades rotating at its end, like a huge ceiling fan that has been stood up vertically. They are huge! Like, HUGE! The circle made by the three big blades of the wind turbine make a circle that is 82m across. Each of the blades weighs 6 tons – or, 6000 kg! Altogether the entire turbine weighs 160 tons, and stands 110m tall. That’s amazing! It is hard to believe that people can build something like this. The teachers taught us that wind is a renewable source of energy, because it never runs out, and we can just keep using it. However, they asked us to think about why Singapore doesn’t use wind power. We think that maybe we don’t have the space for the wind farms (the farm has to be quite big! Wonthaggi holds 6 wind turbines of that size), and our winds are not strong enough. Our guide told us that the wind farm can make enough power for 6000 homes for a year. Wow!
After the wind farm, we had lunch, then had a 2 hour drive back to Melbourne…where we went to the MELBOURNE AQUARIUM! We had a wonderful guide at the aquarium, whose name was Lai (pronounced “Lay”). He had a loud booming voice, and even though we were tired, he made it very interesting for us. For example, he taught us that the larger sharks tend to be the females, and for clownfish, the larger fish turns into a female. It seems that in the world under the sea, the larger and stronger ones tend to be the females! Lai said that it is because they have the big and important job of producing babies. We met jellyfish, a large leopard shark, the only Grey Nurse Shark left in Victoria, massive stingrays that sailed over our heads in the tunnel, and starfish that were surprisingly prickly. We also got to colour in our own bags (with sea dragons on them) to bring home as souvenirs. We even got a special photo to take home, with us in it. It was fantastic!
Well, that brings us to the end of our educational programmes. Tomorrow morning we will be doing some shopping, then it’s HOME for all of us! It’s so exciting but sad at the same time. Many of us really love Melbourne, especially the cool weather.
It seems that the next time you hear from us, we will probably already be home and able to give you all a warm (and sticky, since we’re in Singapore) hug! Can’t wait to see you all again, dear faithful readers, and thank you for all your comments, which the teachers have been reading out on the bus! :D
With big big smiles,
All 35 of us :D