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Year 8s explore SUPEC and Xuhui Riverside Park

22 April 2019
On our geography trip, we first went to the Shanghai Urban Planning Centre which is a museum in People’s Square that features art pieces, interactive games, videos and posters that enabled us to view Shanghai’s past as well as its future plans. Shanghai is changing all the time, so it is important to investigate the way in which it is changing, as this can help us understand how we can make Shanghai a more sustainable and healthier place in the future. Our task was to complete the booklet pages that were assigned, which meant we had to explore the museum to find information on lots of different topics. Before entering the museum, we had our first taste of geographical data collection by completing a survey to evaluate our opinions of People’s Square in categories such as cleanliness, safety and appearance. After we left the museum, we travelled to the Xuhui Riverside Park to further investigate changes occurring across Shanghai. It was important to visit Xuhui Riverside Park as we discovered its long industrial history. It used to be a large dockside area, where people would unload cargoes and trade items in huge volumes. However, Xuhui Riverside area has been completely redeveloped to become a peaceful area designed for sport and leisure activities where people can run on the running track or take a stroll around the beautiful park along the river. These changes are an integral part of Shanghai’s modernisation story. Industry has moved from the centre of the city to the outskirts, while the living environment has been improved in the centre by including more entertainment features and social spaces. At Xuhui Riverside Park we had to use our navigation skills since one task was to fill in a map of the surrounding area and list its purposes to show how the land use has changed over the years to suit the changing priorities of the city and the people who live here. Not only do we try to follow the Wellington Values at school, we show them in the wider world too. For example, we needed to have the courage to ask local people their opinions of the park when completing our questionnaires. Another task was to draw a field sketch of the modernised park and its landscape, further cataloguing the changes that have taken place. Learning how to study geographical factors in the field is important because we can learn to be independent and to navigate our surroundings without the assistance of modern technology. Additionally, learning about the history of cities can help us predict the future of the country and how sustainable our lives will be. Some of the greatest parts of the trip included using the amazing interactive games at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, trying to find our own houses and the College on the scale model of Shanghai, and asking the people in Xuhui Riverside Park different questions about the improvements made to the area. All these activities helped to improve our interactive skills, which will help us in our future careers. Overall, the trip was great fun, and we learned a lot about applying our geography skills to fieldwork.   Ieva and Sophia  Year 8