We were so lucky and excited to be able to go back to Canberra after a few years!
On our first day in Canberra, we went to the National Museum and were able to see one of the most fragile specimens in the National Museum’s collection – a whole preserved body of an extinct Tasmanian tiger. We then visited the National Zoo and Aquarium and had a guided tour of the zoo while speaking about endangered animals and how we can help them. Next on our list was the National Archives where we were able to do some research on their massive interactive wall. To end the day, we drove out to Wild Bark Learning Centre and went on a twilight walk while we searched for Eastern Bettongs foraging on native truffles in the wild. After a long first day, we had a great dinner and settled in to sleep.
For our second day in Canberra, we started the day with a morning walk through the Botanic Gardens and learned about indigenous plants and their uses. We then went to the Museum of Democracy where we explored political cartoons and learned about symbolism, caricature, and shapes and text in political cartoons. The main activity for the day was visiting Parliament! We went on a guided tour of the House of Representatives and the Senate House and we were lucky enough to see a mock passing of a bill! In the mock proceedings the Government tried to pass a bill for cheaper housing and petrol but the opposition stood strong, drawing Independent support to block the bill so it could go through amendments first. To end the day, we had a stroll through the National Arboretum and learned about the vision of Walter Burley Griffin for ACT to be the Bush Capital of Australia.
For our last day, we went to the Australian War Memorial to take part in a wreath laying ceremony. It was an honour for our School to be able to lay a wreath at the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier’. From there we visited the Royal Australian Mint and went on a guided tour and learned about the history of coin making and how much some of those coins are worth today. We were also very fortunate to see ‘Titan’ in action. ‘Titan’ is the mint robot, responsible for lifting up the huge barrels of coins and pouring them into the machine ready for pressing. He only works at certain times in the day, so we were lucky to be there at the right time! Our last stop of the trip was of course Questacon! No excursion to Canberra would be complete without a visit here. The students enjoyed visiting the various science rooms and having hands-on experiences. Air Hockey against a robot proved a big hit for students and teachers!
We had a wonderful few days in Canberra, experiencing so many exciting places.