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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Mighty Flying Machines

We went on a field trip to TUDM in mid-November.  TUDM stands for Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia or The Royal Malaysia Air Force.   There were about 50 children together with some parents, teachers and a tour guide.

As soon as we reached TUDM, we were awestruck to see so many mighty flying machines around us.  There were airplanes, fighter jets and helicopters.  The children could take photos around and in some of the aircraft.  Many, if not all of them, were excited to go from one plane to another, taking pictures.  They even took turns going into one of the cockpits.

The tour guide led us from one flying aircraft to another, giving us the names of the machines amidst the din and noise.  It was rather noisy with excited children's voices from other schools as well.  Not much information was given about the planes.

We also visited a museum showing us the history of the Malaysian Air Force plus replicas of planes, jets and helicopters.  We spent about half an hour making a paper plane inside the museum.

The awesome jet at the entrance
Eager to go in for the trip

The objective of this trip was met - showing and exposing the children to the various air crafts.

Driving the helicopter

Look at the mighty plane behind us!

Inside one of the planes

At the cockpit

Making paper plane inside the museum

Looking at the model airplanes

Lunch at McDonalds.

Coming back from the trip, I asked the children if they enjoyed themselves.  Most answered yes as they were excited to see so many planes in one place.  However, Joshua was quiet and I asked him why.   

He answered , "I don't like this trip.  I don't like it because I cannot hear what she (the tour guide) is saying.  I want to hear so that I can learn more.  I cannot learn new things.  I just see the planes and take photos.  Huijie and Cheryl also feel the same.  She must speak louder so that we can hear.  I like Vitagen better because we get to learn new things!"

I asked again,"You like Vitagen because you have a lot of food to eat, right?"

Joshua replied, "No, I like Vitagen because I learn that good bacteria is good for tummy ache and can help us to be healthy always.  I like Vitagen because the lady spoke loudly and clearly.  We can hear and learn new things!"

His remarks struck a chord!   Children are competent and can construct their own learning.  The children, especially from Navy Beans, have always been encouraged to ask, query and investigate in order to learn new things.  They are curious and depend on the teachers and adults to facilitate their learning.  I felt that I have let them down that day.

The younger ones were excited and contented to just see  the planes.  The older ones wanted to learn more, but the tour guide did not give much explanation and spoke in a barely audible voice.  Looking back, I remember seeing Joshua and Huijie trying their best to listen to her. Besides telling the names of the planes, there was not much explanation and the children were also rushed through the exhibits in the museum.

As Joshua said, they did not learn much compared to the field trip to Vitagen.  The staff at Vitagen spoke and explained to the children clearly and with respect.  Even the 4-year olds were engrossed in the explanation about good vs bad bacteria.   One of the five -year olds remembered what she  learnt and asked her Mum to get Vitagen for her brother who was having tummy ache.  Such deep impression from the field visit!

After today's incident, I am reminded never to take the children's learning for granted! 

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