During the recent holidays, fifteen A2 Physics students embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Accompanied by Mr T Beeton and Mr Kim, the students travelled to Japan to discover what further study in Physics could offer beyond school. The students gained an insight into different career paths and the latest research in the fields of Physics and Engineering.
After a very long flight we landed in Tokyo and made our way by bus, a very luxury bus to our surprise, to our hotel to get a good night’s rest and recover from the flight. Upon waking up to our first day in Japan, we immediately set about to focus on our value of Global View and immersed ourselves in the local culture. Led by a guide, we explored some of the more popular areas whilst making our way to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Here we interacted with various activities highlighting some amazing scientific breakthroughs.
Our second day in Japan was an opportunity to relax and unwind ahead of what would be a very busy schedule over the next week and a half. Tokyo Disneyland provided the perfect opportunity to do this, despite the weather starting to resemble that of Auckland towards the end of the day – at least we couldn’t get homesick!
The remainder of the trip was spent travelling to various locations, maximising our exposure to both the different local cultures as well as gaining valuable exposure to some amazing real life Physics. The trip was fast paced and a lot was covered in the space of the holidays. Some of the highlights included visiting Hiroshima to learn all about the atomic bomb from both a historical and scientific perspective, visiting various Shrines and Temples, a tour through the Mazda Car factory where we observed the secret automated production line, a trip one kilometre underground to the 40,000 tonne tank of water that is the Cosmic Ray Neutrino Detector with the opportunity to see what it’s like working as a researcher or engineer on cutting edge Science, a trip on the 300 km/h bullet train, observing the control centre at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency communicating with the International Space Station, a visit to Tokyo University where we received a lecture on Physics, a day in a very small mountain village with no tourists to truly immerse ourselves in the culture and last, but certainly not least, a visit to a local high school.
The trip was an incredible opportunity and the students came back inspired and excited about what they had learnt. Throughout the trip the students lived our school values and conducted themselves accordingly. They represented both Parnell College and New Zealand extremely well and, as a teacher, I am proud of the way in which they did so.
Next year, we will again visit Japan in the April holidays. We have some exciting new additions to our itinerary and planning for the trip is well underway. The 2019 trip will be advertised in the second half of this term at which point we will seek expressions of interest from students.