Inspiring Educational Tour to Singapore Botanic Gardens to Ignite Curious Minds
Located at the heart of the city of Singapore, Botanic Gardens is the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Students from GIIS Balestier got the opportunity to visit Singapore Botanic Gardens, which is the first in Asia and the third botanic gardens inscribed in the world.
The tour was conducted for over a period of 3 days from July 5th 2017 to July 7th 2017, with students from different classes visiting to SBG Heritage Tour, National Orchid Garden (NOG) Tour, and SBG Learning Forest Tour. Curious to get close to nature and visit The Gardens, students took a bus ride through bustling city road and entered the Gardens through the Main Gate (also known as Tanglin Gate). Students walked around this oldest part of the Gardens.
SBG Heritage Tour
The friendly garden guide took the students from grade 5A to Green Gallery & SBG Heritage Museum. The SBG Heritage Museum featured interactive and multimedia exhibits and panels that detailed the Gardens' rich heritage, and the CDL Green Gallery. For over 150 years, Singapore Botanic Gardens has been the birth place of South East Asia's rubber and orchid industries. Singapore has been a centre of orchid breeding from the 1930s. Some early hybrids have left important footprints in the world of orchids and have become part of Singapore’s floral heritage.
Students’ curiosity took us to the Botany Centre that serves as a visitor information centre for the southern end of the Gardens. Research facilities like the Singapore Herbarium, the Library of Botany & Horticulture and the Orchid Breeding and Micropropagation Laboratory were located here. Singapore Botanic Gardens has pioneered work on rubber cultivation and techniques for tapping. Students saw the model of rubber cultivation and techniques for tapping and enriched themselves. Students took a stroll through the Curtains of Roots and experienced the ethereal feeling of delicate roots on their skin. Tired but with cherished memories, students returned to the school and shared their experience with their friends.
National Orchid Garden Tour
The students from grade 5B, benefitted from a school organized outing to the Orchid gardens on the 6th of July. 27 out of a class of 32 enjoyed the beautiful garden. The students were received by Mr. Abu Sofian and his deputies, who quickly divided the students into 3 manageable groups. Each group of students was given a tour of the gardens, along with educational facts about the orchids on display.
There was considerable interest in Singapore’s National flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim, which is a hybrid orchid reflecting the culture of Singapore. The students were also given a brief history on the founding of the Botanical gardens under the stewardship of Sir Stamford Raffles and Nathaniel Wallich.
SBG Learning Forest Tour
Students from grade 5C went on a field trip to the botanical gardens on Friday, July 7th 2017. Students had the opportunity to see up- close a wide diversity of plant species and fauna such as birds, amphibians and insects that are typical of freshwater forest wetland habitats in the region.
In the learning forest, students went to Keppel Discovery Wetlands, which is a 1.8 hectare restoration project of the forest wetland eco-system that was historically found in the botanical gardens. Some of the highlights of the wetlands are the orchid islands, botanist boardwalk and pulia marsh.
After exploring the learning forest, students then proceed towards the SPH walk of giants that is an elevated boardwalk, which measured approximately 260m in length and height of 8m. The highlight of the SPH walk of giants include an impressive variety of forest ‘giants’ , palms, epiphytes and climbers as well as the ‘Canopy Web’. Students immensely enjoyed bouncing and lying on the canopy web. There was also gigantic bamboo trees, multitude of bamboo species, and species of the coffee plant to amaze one and all.
It was evident that numerous efforts were being made to restore and conserve the rainforest for the future generations. It was fun learning all about the different plants, trees and flowers that grow in Singapore. It was not only fun but also very informative and an enriching learning experience for Global Indian International School Singapore’ students and teachers alike.