Teachers throughout the country are able to take their students on educational adventures thanks to LEARNZ virtual field trips. In its tenth year of sponsorship, Solid Energy will support four online and interactive excursions in 2012. Each trip allows participants to experience places they would never otherwise go and to interact with people they would never get to meet.
Renewable Energy In term 1, the LEARNZ teachers will visit the Nature's Flame wood pellet plant in Taupo, the largest in New Zealand. Nature's Flame is a Solid Energy business. The plant processes pine wood residues from sawmills and wood-product manufacturers into a clean-burning, low-carbon fuel. This field trip will explore the carbon cycle, sustainable energy production and discuss the impacts of renewable and non-renewable resource use in New Zealand.
Earth Science Coast to Coast - a geological road trip across the South Island
Also in term 1, students can travel on a geological road trip from east to west across the South Island with the LEARNZ teachers. Geologists will explain the processes of rock formation, faulting and folding, and the concept of geologic time. After starting with the volcanic rocks of Banks Peninsula, the field trip heads west to hunt for fossils, then journeys through Lewis Pass across the mighty Alpine Fault to the West Coast where two tectonic plates meet. Waikato Coal Mining - underground and opencast
In term 3, students can visit Solid Energy's opencast and underground coal mines in the Waikato and learn about the origin, extraction, distribution and uses of coal. Students can interview miners who work underground or who operate big machinery above ground and compare environmental issues related to underground and opencast mining. This field trip takes participants to Huntly East Mine to see how innovation overcomes the unique challenges posed by New Zealand geological conditions. Making Music - build up to the Halloween concert with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Solid Energy is the long-time Outreach and Education Sponsor supporter of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO). In term 4, the students can tag along with the CSO and experience the build-up and performance of some spooky music in a Halloween themed concert. Professional musicians will introduce students to a range of instruments and how they function. The field trip is an all-access pass to see how the different components, the visual arts team, backstage organisers, the costume department and circus performers, come together for a major show.
Each LEARNZ field trip offers online resources to prepare students for their experience. An online daily diary, digital video, audio conferences, email and a web board provide a range of opportunities to engage students with remote experts and the learning adventure. Classroom teachers are fully supported with newsletters, a teacher manual and a telephone help desk. Fourteen different trips are scheduled for 2012 covering curriculum areas like science, social sciences and the arts.
The field trip programme is free to New Zealand registered teachers, enrolling a class is free and taking part in as many field trips as you want is free. There are currently 4371 registered teachers participating in LEARNZ from 1740 different schools. Home schooled children and international teachers are welcome to create accounts but incur a small fee.
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