Friday, November 20, 2009

Sec3 Learning Journey - 27th October

TK has various Post-exam activities. The Learning Journey is one of them. The Sec3 students enjoyed visiting the places such as The Singapore Mint, museums, and the facilities of AVA on the 27th October. These visits out of school require watchful eyes of adults (20 students / 1 adult) to ensure well-being of the students. 9 TK parents rendered help. The PSG Secretary, Roy and a parent, Amini were among them. They accompanied with Sec3H and J to visit the Agrotechnology Parks. Here’s Roy’s photo journal.

TK Learning journey on 27 Oct 2009. ( wrong month on the date stamping)
The first stop at Lim Chu Kang’s AVA Auditorium.

The second stop at Qian Hu Fish Farm.

Canteen break for the students who didn’t eat breakfast while waiting for the farm personnel to conduct the tour.

Students enjoying the ornamental fish on display.

This stingray is too expensive for BBQ at a Price tag of $2000.
The more expensive ones are at $10,000 per item!

The price of one stingray above.

The 6 breeding ponds for arrowanas.

Tour inside the Fish Quarantine area before sending to pet shops and exporting overseas.
The number of fishes are counted by hand and packed into plastics bags filled with oxygen and water before shipping out.

These baby terrapins are so cute,

it makes you want to bring some home.
And one of the girls eventually bought one home.
The baby terrapins are not bred locally, they are imported.

Next stop at a local vegetable farm, Kok Fah Technology Farm.

One of the first attractions, a talking bird... And the students were amused by it.

This is the talking bird that caught everyone’s attention...

Onward with the farm tour.

I think this is a long bean plant.

The farm’s very own water supply for their plants.
Rain water is collected for watering the plants and vegetables.

A demo on how to cut an aloe vera leaf for consumption.
“Make sure you don’t touch the sap, it may cause itch on your skin”

Look at the concentration this student has.
“Is that a ......?
Ok, it’s the slime from the aloe vera.”
The student later received a bottle of cold Honey Aloe Vera drink.
Some say it’s good, others say it tastes different... from soft drinks of course.
I enjoyed it of course.

Some schools did some projects here to grow orchids using recycled stuffs. We saw an unwanted plastic shoe, a ‘Croc’ in exact, recycled into a pot for a baby orchid plant. What an ingenious way to get rid of old shoes so you can buy more shoes besides giving them to the garang guni man.

The last stop at the Orchid Farm. Students sitting inside the air-conditioned auditorium for a presentation.
Some advertising for them, “This place can be used for company D&D and functions” as told by the staff.

So cool and nice to relax.

Some are dozing off already.

The place where the orchids are cut and trimmed, ouch.

The production area, some of the orchid flowers are cut and packed for Singapore Airlines passengers... First Class travellers only.
Orchids used to be very expensive in the past. Only very rich people can afford to buy them.
Now you get them free with a First Class air ticket.

Economy class please buy them here.

The cold room for keeping the flowers fresh.

Anybody wants to go in to try the coldness and stay fresh?

A close up of the many potted orchid for sale ... what’s the name of this hybrid? Orchid usually have very long name.

Do you know you can name one after yourself if you discovered a new species?

This is the outdoor scenery, where the orchid plants are grown.

The dark netting above protects the plants from the strong sunlight and pests as well.

“Don’t stray away too far,

otherwise we go back without you!”

“OK we come back....what a waste... I thought we can pluck some flowers for my mummy.”
Do you know how long it takes you to grow a seedling into a mature plant with orchid flowers?
2 years, that all. Think it’s easy?

There are two types of orchids: terrestrial orchids and epiphytes. Terrestrial orchids, such as Cymbidium, grow on the ground, while epiphytes establish themselves on trees.
The hybrids are grown by taking 2 flowers from different species...decide who will be the male and the female. They are asexual, you know.
Fertilise the female flowers....wait for the successful fertilisation......collect the ovary capsules pods from the dried female flower....collect the almost microscpic seeds from the pods before they are dispersed and blown away......Germinate the seeds in special nutrient containing gel....collect seedlings and put in a fertilised bedding.....Transfer to individual small pots....Transfer to individual bigger pots....
One pot for only one plant... no wonder so many pots are needed .... and don’t forget to water them with nutrients water....some orchids don’t grow in soil, so you need to feed them directly through their roots.

By the way, how big can an orchid or vanda plant grow?
This particular one in the picture can weight up to 2000 kgs when fully grown.... this one is only a young plant.
The world’s smallest orchid plant is so small that you need a magnifying glass to see it’s flowers.

If you don’t believe, ask the staff.

“Let me show you how to create a new orchid hybrid.”

When I say you can name the new species after yourself, do you think I’m joking? It’s real!
Some orchids flowers can give off nice fragrance too.
Chocolate flavour, vanilla flavour, just to name a few that I can remember.

No joke, your vanilla ice cream comes in cheap package and some comes in expensive package. The expensive ones like the Turkish Ice cream comes from you know where?
Vanilla orchid of course.

Sorry, the flower has a real name besides calling it vanilla orchid for short and it’s very long also, (Dondurma - salepli dondurma) I think. It also means testicles.
This breed of orchid flower is harvested for cancer treatment in Chinese Traditional medicine and it’s very expensive also. Remember it takes 2 years to grow a new plant before it starts to flower, and the plant only flowers a few times a year.

Written by Roy