01 Jul, 2015
10 : 00
At YCIS, the World Classroom programme is a unique opportunity for students to learn outside the classroom. Each year, the school arranges experiential, project-based trips for students in Years 7–10, together with groups of other YCIS students China-wide. Recently, Year 7 students had the opportunity to travel to either Florida or Montana in the US for truly unforgettable trips.
The Secondary students’ trip to Florida focused largely on robotics, and during their visit, the students travelled to the Kennedy Space Center, St Augustine, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The students spent three days at the Kennedy Space Center to take part in a rigorous robotics course where they worked together in teams to create a Lego robot. At the end of the course, the students added a small camera to the front of their robot and had to navigate their robot on a scaled moon simulation to hit various targets to score points. The winning group of YCIS students ended up earning the highest score in the history of the camp!
Each day at Kennedy Space Center, students also enjoyed a range of activities, including lunch with astronaut Mr Jerry Ross, a tour of the site including a visit to the famous “launch pad 39” and the immense vehicle assembly building, a simulation shuttle ride at the Atlantis museum, and two IMAX movies about the future of space exploration and the Hubble telescope. From here, the group moved on to the historical town of St Augustine, where students visited the city’s oldest house, a castle, a military hospital, a wax museum, and an old jail. During the trip’s final destination to Hollywood Studios, the students enjoyed a full day of rides and shows.
During the World Classroom trip to Montana, the students were able to truly experience the “Wild West”. The students started their trip with a stay at a 110-year-old homestead. During their stay, the students had the opportunity to ride horses with the guidance of professional wranglers, and to go white water rafting as a team building exercise. The students definitely came to understand why Montana is nicknamed “Big Sky Country” as they spent an evening gazing up at the multitude of stars in the night sky, accompanied by a special astronomy lesson from one of the rangers.
Next, the students travelled to two former Wild-West towns, and viewed over 100 historic buildings showcasing artifacts and furnishings. Then they visited a cowboy rodeo competition that was complete with live music and dozens of performances. However, the true highlight of the trip was the students’ visit to Yellowstone National Park, the crown jewel of America’s national parks that is filled with mountainous landscapes and is home to bears, bison, and elk. One of the most interesting aspects of Yellowstone is its geology, and in a special class, students learnt about the unique geology of the area. The Secondary students now know what volcanoes, canyons, rivers, and glaciers helped form the park into what it is today, including “Old Faithful”, the most famous geyser in the world. On the final day of the Montana trip, the students visited the Museum of the Rockies where they saw displays of thousands of dinosaur fossils – a wonderful and educational end to the trip.
This year, the two Year 7 trips provided exceptional learning and adventure experiences that the students will remember for a lifetime. In other World Classroom Programme trips this year, YCIS students have visited Prague, Barcelona, and Sri Lanka. To learn more about opportunities YCIS students have to learn outside the classroom, click here.