This community-building trip aims to connect students with the core values of THIS and to further foster a strong sense of camaraderie within homerooms as well as grade levels and to help them quickly become better spartans.
In the early morning of September 8, 2021, students from grades 6 and 7 of THIS set off from the west gate of Tsinghua High School headed to the Agricultural Machinery Experiment Station of SINOMACH to start their class group trip for the new school year.
Beijing Agricultural Machinery Experiment Station (historically known as “Xiao Wang Zhuang Farm”) belongs to China Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences, which is a large national science and technology-based central enterprise under SINOMACH, one of the world’s top 500 companies. The park covers an area of 1,645 mu, and is a comprehensive industrial base integrating scientific experiments, testing and inspection of modern agricultural equipment; mechanized planting, intelligent breeding and three-dimensional ecological cycle; science education on agricultural product quality and safety, comprehensive social practice activities; and education on patriotism and internationalism. (Resource: the official website of the agricultural technology station)
Students in grades 6 and 7 were divided into two classes for each grade, and were led by instructors from the farming station and classroom teachers in a variety of agricultural, farming and handicraft activities. They visited cattle farms and made delicious moon cakes. Additionally, grade 6 dug for peanuts and grade 7 planted rice. These hands-on experiences gave our students the opportunity to learn real life agricultural practices getting close to nature and experiencing the simple joy brought by labor of the activities.
Upon arrival, the children were led by the project interpreter from the agricultural station to the dairy farming center to visit the cow living environment and the milk extraction equipment. Here, the children observed cows up close and learned about their biological characteristics and habits. By understanding how cows and milk come to us, the students deepened their appreciation of cows and even developed brief friendships with these small and big animals.
Meanwhile, Grade 7 students learned about rice planting, first in the Agricultural Machinery Station Complex classroom and then in the rice planting test field. They rolled up their sleeves, put on their rubber boots, and had a “rice planting competition”. The activity tested the students’ eye-hand coordination, communication skills and their teamwork. They were required to immediately apply what they learned in class about rice planting and seedling. The students worked together to plant fields neatly with high seedling survival rate and in fast time. Through this rice planting activity, our children not only experienced a sense of satisfaction for their hard work, but they also strengthened their friendships through teamwork. Not to mention, the students will cherish the rice in their bowls at every meal moving forward.
After learning about the biology of peanuts, Grade 6 students spent the late afternoon in the sunshine, having a little peanut picking competition. What a lively scene! The young farmers picked up shovels, went into the field and started a tug-of-war with the peanuts. Each little farmer was assigned the task of picking half a pound of peanuts. The team that completed this task in the fastest time, meaning every member of the team picked half a pound each, was the declared the winner. All of the children were actively involved – hands covered with dirt, shoveling, pulling picking, weighing ……. The peanuts were also carefully cleaned by the students and poured into the prepared pot filled with cooking ingredients. With the help of the project instructor, the peanuts were fully cooked. Then finally, the students had the chance to taste the fruits of their hard labor, which represented a big success!
Both Grade 6 and Grade 7 students learned how to make moon cakes in anticipation for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival this month. The handmade moon cakes though not too difficult to make, the students were required to fully activate their practical skills — roll out the skin, wrap the fillings, and shape the moon cake using a mold …… They were so excited to put the raw moon cakes into the oven and wait for the hot moon cakes to be freshly baked!
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese festival that signifies reunion, harmony, respect for the elderly and gratitude. The children learned how to hand make moon cakes and brought their moon cakes home to share with their families. We hope that the children will make moon cakes with their parents at home for the Mid-Autumn Festival embracing the warmth and harmony of family time.