Fairland students head ‘Down Under’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2001

PROCTORVILLE – "G’day" might soon be the newest catch-phrase to fill the halls of Fairland High School.

Wednesday, April 04, 2001

PROCTORVILLE – "G’day" might soon be the newest catch-phrase to fill the halls of Fairland High School.

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In one week, 10 students in the school’s ecology club will trek to the South Pacific in order to study the environment and culture of the people of Oceania and the Pacific Rim.

The students will leave the area next Tuesday making their first stop in Hawaii. While in the Aloha State, students will visit the USS Arizona Memorial, attend a luau and participate in a guided tour of the state’s capital, Honolulu.

After three days the group will leave Hawaii, losing a day as they cross the International Date Line, and arrive in Australia. Lynn Scragg, a science teacher at FHS and one of the sponsors of the trip, said it will be a learning experience in many different aspects. For example, this will be the first time on an airplane most of the students, she said.

Scragg said once in Australia the students will tour Sydney, cruise the harbor and visit the world-famous Sydney Opera House. The students will also take a trip to the Blue Mountains and Katoomba were they will see some of the geography and wildlife that makes Australia famous.

The students will see the Three Sisters rock formation and tour the Australian Wildlife Park where students will see native Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas and wallabies.

From Australia, the group will travel a short distance to Auckland, New Zealand. In Auckland the students will tour the city and then move away from the urbanized areas and go to the New Zealand countryside. Students will visit the Agrodome and see sheep-shearing demonstrations. Sheep is important to New Zealand’s economy as more than 55 million are raised in the country.

The students also will visit with some of the New Zealand natives – the Maori. The group will spend some time with the Maori people, learning their culture and visit the Whaka area which is noted for its bubbling mud pools and hot mineral springs.

FHS students will return April 22 – in time to return to school with their classmates after spring break.

This isn’t the first time Fairland students have left the classroom to learn in the field. Last year, Scragg said, students went to Costa Rica to study the rainforest.

Senior David Greene said he is looking forward to the trip.

"This is an opportunity to see things that are different than what we are used to seeing – from the culture to the wildlife," he said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance."