27.9.2017 at 11:37 pm

Ready, set and off we go!

The Lauder Beth-Zion School’s class outing (“Wandertag”) on 27 September was good fun for all classes. Split in five groups, the students and teachers went out for a day of experiential learning — rather than traditional, classroom-based learning.

Second Grade

The second grade hiked in the forest near Birkenwerder with Mora Lilija and Mrs. Meyer. There is lots to discover in an autumn forest such as this one. Fresh, shiny chestnuts, bright red mushrooms with their white dots, the fresh smell of the forest – all created impressions quite different from that of daily life.

The children heard information about local animals, nature and other topics. Towards the end of the trip, the students built their own Biwak out of twigs, branches and leaves.

First and Third Grades

Students in grades one and three, on the other hand, went to an animal park. Accompanied by Mrs. Schlüter, Mora Michal, Mrs. Leiberg, Rav Daus and Mr. Linke, the children visited Elephant, Tiger & Co.  The children learned to appreciates and care for animals. Even tidying up afterwards was fun.

Fourth Grade

As young archaeologists and geologists, the fourth grade students — together with Mrs. Kuchling and Mora Rita — explored a huge lime pit at Museumspark Rüdersdorf. Getting there was the first adventure. Speeding quite fast in a cross-country jeep, everyone went uphill and downhill right into cretaceous age. The trip was fun, exciting and outright thrilling.

Equipped with helmet, hammer and safety glasses, the fourth grade explorers looked for fossils from the cretaceous age or calcites and pyrites – and successfully found some. They also learned about opencast mining, such as one in the landscape of Brandenburg – 60 meters below zero at the lowest point!

Recommendation: There are good options for Sunday visits for interested families.

Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Grades

Not far away, in the waste incineration plant Rüdersdorf, grades seven, eight and nine together with Rav BarOn, Mora Pnina, Mrs. Frenzel and Mr. Barthel looked at the most modern waste incineration plant in Middle Europe. Rubbish is not stacked in piles that ruin the view and landscape as well as the quality of the ground water.

Instead, everything that is not recyclable is being burnt, and lives on as source of energy. The dimensions of the facility are enormous. Huge piles of rubbish are picked up by high-tech cranes and thrown into a burner at 850°C. The heat creates steam that gets transformed into electric energy, using a turbine, and is lead to the adjoining cement works. Seeing the live process is vivid, and provides insights that cannot be communicated in book format.

Fifth and Sixth Grades

Grades five and six also tracked technology – inside the Spectrum, the center of science of the German Museum of Technology Berlin (Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin). Together with Mrs. Kahanovsky and Mrs. Levkovich, the children participated in a workshop about electricity. One part of it was to create and execute experiments themselves. The most fascinating thing though was probably the robot that guided the group through the exhibition afterwards. That was exciting!

Surely everyone agrees with Mrs. Kuchling who still talks about the day glowingly. “We should treat ourselves more often to a day like this!”