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West Coast school students teach others about rail safety


Term 3’s TranzAlpine virtual field trip sees Andrew Penny from LEARNZ travel across the Southern Alps to meet some children who know about rail safety first-hand.

Aerial image of Paroa School.

“Look both ways and listen for trains!”

Students at Paroa School in Greymouth can give this advice with the full weight of experience behind them. They have to cross a railway line every day on their way to school.

You’ll see more from them in Term 3’s LEARNZ online field trip TranzAlpine: A STEM-learning journey with a view, being offered to schools all around Aotearoa for free.

Paroa students at railway crossing.A LEARNZ field trip provides teachers and students online access to inspiring places and through video, images, GIS maps and live web conferences. This is the first LEARNZ online field trip for Term 3 in 2021 and learners have an opportunity to literally learn from each other’s experiences.

“Filming was a new experience for me, I liked doing it but it was not what I expected. It was really hard to get it perfect as everyone kept laughing,” says Rewa Horrox, a student at Paroa School. 

Need to know

  • Teachers can enrol their class now, with some resources already online
  • TranzAlpine field trip videos and full content live from August 8th.
  • A competition to design rail safety posters is included. Prizes: tickets for the actual TranzAlpine rail journey.

More about the LEARNZ field trip

The online field trip also allows students to get up close to a working train to inspect what makes it work, uncover how technology is being used to keep rail future-focused and community oriented, and connect with a range of skilled people involved in the rail industry and find out what they do.

“For this trip we’ve partnered with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and are supported by KiwiRail, and the TrackSafe Foundation NZ. Not only is this field trip a unique opportunity for learners to understand rail safety in a personal way, it also promotes the sustainability of rail transport in Aotearoa,” says LEARNZ product manager Fionna Wright.

“By including the voices of local communities at in this trip, along with insights into rail engineering and technology, we’re ensuring the TranzAlpine scenic train, the beating heart of rail transport across the South Island, is something that learners who participate in the trip will be able to access and remember for generations to come.”

This trip will be fully released on 8 August 2021, which coincides with Rail Safety Week 2021.

Find out more:

TranzAlpine: A STEM-learning journey with a view (LEARNZ)(external link)

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