Year 6 Canberra Tour

Year 6 Canberra Tour

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Last week at the Middle College Assembly, some Year 6 students presented a wonderful description of their visit to Canberra.

When the Year 6 students were told the places we would be visiting in Canberra, I thought the Royal Australian Mint would be one of the least interesting parts of the trip. When we arrived we instantly thought, why do we need a place this big to make the little coins we use in our everyday lives? But when we walked into the Mint, we saw the history of currency in Australia. For example, when the Dutch were coming to our country, one of their ships washed ashore. Later the English discovered it and found a lot of Spanish coins. These coins were then cut with a hole in the middle to make a ring called the ‘holy dollar’ and the smaller circle was called the ‘dump’. This was Australia’s first currency. At the Mint there was a series of robots. One robot was minting coins and one was lifting barrels of coins that weighed up to three tonnes! Another robot was carrying the barrels around the centre and another one sorted all of the coins and put them into bags, which were then packed into trucks and taken to banks around Australia. During our visit, we also got to mint our own coins to take home as a souvenir. All up, I think everyone enjoyed learning about the history of Australian coins and how the Mint makes our coins today. – Liam Russell

In Canberra we visited the AIS, which stands for the Australian Institute of Sport. This is where our Olympians train. The tour started at the souvenir shop where we spent our money on sporting equipment. This was then followed by a tour around the facility where we visited the volleyball courts. We learnt that you had to be a minimum height of 6.5ft to join the Australian volleyball team. Another interesting fact: the tallest Australian volleyball player, Captain Tom Edgar, reaches a height of 212cm tall or 7ft. We then visited the gym to see where the Olympians trained, stretched and tested their abilities. Next, we visited the Olympian swimming pool, which cost $17 million to build. There is a glass-viewing platform under the ground for the coaches to watch and improve the Olympic swimmers techniques. It also had lots of cameras so the Olympians could watch themselves and try to perfect a particular technique. – William Swindles

At Geoscience Australia, we saw an amazing range of marvellously colourful rocks and minerals. We weighed ourselves to see how much we would be worth if we were pure gold. The average worth was about $2 million. We learnt all about igneous, which is sedimentary volcanic rock that is usually made of grains, rock fragments or fossilised remains of organic life. At the end of our visit, we simulated an earthquake on the seismograph by jumping up and down. Our experience at Geoscience Australia will last us a lifetime. – Eliza Bryan and Charles Box

At the CSIRO, we learnt lots of things like how to distinguish a butterfly from a moth. We also engaged in challenging and thought provoking experiences, in exhibits that focused on the topics of health, food, nutrition, biodiversity, climate change, and environment and energy. We also made some exciting discoveries in the hands-on Discovery Lab. We discussed the positive impact science has on people, industry and the planet. – Sophie Dahl

During our time in Canberra, we visited the new and old Parliament House. At the old Parliament House, we saw many interesting features including the mace, the English Coat of Arms and many flags. Another feature we saw was the original chair the speaker sat in. Overall, Old Parliament was one of the most beautiful places we visited. Outside New Parliament House was huge! We had to go through security to get into Parliament. When we finally got in, we did some role-playing before going into the House of Representatives and the Senate. Luckily, we came when it was question time. We got to see Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten argue, which was really fun. Then we went into the Senate. There weren’t a lot of people at the Senate but it was still fun to watch. Just as we were about to have afternoon tea, our local member Andrew Wallace came in, which was really cool. New Parliament House was by far the best! – Grace Whitelaw and Amie Hague