The STEM trip to the USA was most certainly the trip of a lifetime for 24 students and 4 teachers who departed the Gold Coast at the start of the Easter holidays to explore all that the USA has to offer in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
There were two distinct flavours to our trip which served to accommodate both the interests of IT students as well as those fascinated by space travel. The IT group spent time at Google, Intel and EA Games where they met the CEO, Andrew Wilson who is a past Emmanuel student. as well as. There was also time for a bit of light-hearted fun at Disney World.
Our Space enthusiasts were enrolled in an advanced space academy camp in Huntsville, Alabama where they spent six days preparing for a mission to Mars.
After a brief but intensive visit to Washington DC, both groups of students and teachers met in New York and spent a day at the United Nations.
Other attractions included a day at Princeton (organised by a previous Emmanuel student, Ellen Scott-Young), a few visits to Times Square, a day at IBM and the World Trade Centre Memorial.
A visit to the Statue of Liberty and time spent at the New Jersey Science Centre were also on the list.
It was a pleasure to be with our students and they most certainly did their families and College proud. They fully engaged in all activities and conversed easily with many of the very interesting and highly educated people we met.
"Leaving on this trip, all were full of anticipation; we had little idea of what to expect. We were told that this trip would be to us whatever we made it, and this trip would be a first for everyone. Needless to say, the trip was an incredible experience; all who went on it experienced something different that they will each take away. I feel I can say collectively that all of our eyes were opened to a world of possibilities. We were shown a world where mankind did not know the answer to certain questions, and that excited us all. The leading researchers we met were all learning new things about how the world works, and I feel that we too learnt about the possibilities that the future holds for us. Our eyes were opened to a world that we had never before seen, we were told and reminded by all the people we met that none of them knew what they wanted to pursue or who they wanted to be when they were our age, all they did was do what they loved and followed their passion. Each was as eagerly excited and passionate about sharing their work with us and what they were hoping to discover, and this definitely left a lasting impact upon all. The trip was a trip of firsts, but it also opened up a world of possibilities to all who went."
Daniel Cepon - Year 12
"During the April school break, I went on the STEM trip to America along with twenty other students. After 30 hours of travelling, we stepped off the plane with exhaustion and excitement, yet not knowing what to expect. We first attended space camp in Huntsville, Alabama, and learnt about the fascinating world of rockets and space travelling, while building friendships with people from all around the world. Soon after space camp, we arrived in Washington DC for a short stay. As the capital of the United States, Washington DC is a city full of history, embedding a number of famous locations including the White House, the Capitol Building, the Arlington Cemetery, the Smithsonian Museum, the Washington Monument, and a number of well-known memorials like the Lincoln Memorial. Although our stay in Washington was short, we made the most out of it and visited all those locations. New York was the most exciting part of the trip.
Arriving in New York, we were overwhelmed by what it was like to be in such a big city: busy traffic, dirty subways, skyscrapers… it was definitely a contrast to the Gold Coast in many ways. During our time in New York, we visited the United Nations, the IBM research centre, Times Square, and the world-renowned University, Princeton, which was my favourite part of the trip. We also had the privilege to chat to leading scientists and academics, which gave us a taste of how rapidly science and technology are advancing. Overall, this trip has broadened my horizons and made me realise that there is a big world beyond the Emmanuel community bubble that I’ve been living in for many years. Additionally, during this trip, my friends and I had created many precious memories that we will never forget. Through eye-opening and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, this trip is a trip of a lifetime for all of us, and will be one of the trips that I will remember for a long time."