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Year 12 & 13 Students Get Inspired by STEM on San Francisco Trip

Published on 25/03/24

A group of Year 12 and Year 13 students had the opportunity to be inspired and learn how technology is transforming the modern world through visiting a number of attractions in San Francisco.

Students had hands-on experience in the home of science and technology and were able to appreciate the achievements of our scientific understanding through time and how this may change our understanding of technology in the future. Overall they were inspired to continue with their scientific and computer studies and thoroughly enjoyed the captivating culture and stunning landscapes that San Francisco has to offer.

Year 12 student Emilea tells us all about the trip: “We stayed in Fisherman's Wharf and on our first night had dinner at Applebee’s, the first of many iconic American but specifically San Franciscan restaurants like Bubba Gump shrimp and the Hard Rock cafe. It was an interesting experience to say the least as expectations we had from Hollywood movies were met. We began our trip with a walking tour of the city visiting Pier 39, seeing the seals, and hiking up the famous steep roads and hills seeing trams pass by while battling a seven hour time difference.

We visited San Francisco’s Chinatown and learnt the history of Chinese immigration to San Francisco and the conflicts of land owning and cultural differences, the city now hosts many cultures which are celebrated.

We visited many museums like the California Science Museum, the Cabot Nasa Visitor Centre, the Intel History Museum, the Exploratorium, and the Computer Science History Museum. My personal favourite had to have been the California Science Museum as it had separate habitat themed rooms for different species as well as simulators of different weathers like extreme fog and an earthquake simulator. It was also home to the only Albino crocodile in the world, Claude, who was so still and stoic looking that we almost thought he was a fake statue.

The Computer Science History Museum was a close second as it had so many artefacts and old models of computers, robots, and video games that were very interesting to see in person and all in the same room.

There were more tourist-like activities where we took a ferry and visited Alcatraz prison. We had a guided listening tour of the prison's history, the famous criminals that were imprisoned there, and of course the famous escape from Alcatraz. We of course saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and visited two aquariums, then spent a day in Silicon Valley learning the growth of technology and companies like Meta, Google, and Apple and seeing their visitor centres.

One of my favourite days, though there were many, was visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum which is owned by Walt Disney’s sister who saved and collected all his collectibles and relics. It had to have been the most interesting visit as it had the whole history of Walt Disney’s life, the start-up of Disney, the first drafts of Mickey Mouse, and how they revolutionised the animation industry. The museum had the original miniature of Disneyland that Walt used to plan the amusement park.

On our last day of the trip we all separated into smaller groups to explore the city more, do some souvenir shopping, and my friends and I took the San Francisco Trams, up and down the hills, as well as trying the famous Ghirardelli’s chocolate which is made in the city.

Overall the trip was a very memorable and exciting experience, I had a lot of souvenirs to bring back and share with family and friends. Seeing the sights and spending time with close friends in a different country is an experience on its own on top of visiting museums and learning more about STEM and its history.”