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Summary Page: Waterview Connection 2 - going underground with New Zealand`s biggest road project
Term 3 starting 4 August 2015.



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For related LEARNZ field trips from NZTA go to Memorial Park and Smart Motorways. Also visit the NZTA Education portal.

Note: Waterview Connection 1 and Waterview Connection 2, the first two of four field trips are now live.

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You could be forgiven for thinking this was a sci fi trip. The scale is huge! On this second field trip you will meet Dennis, the bright yellow self-launching gantry sitting high over Auckland's Northwestern motorway, building a giant bridge and ramps over a busy motorway.

Dennis the self-launching gantry

You will also revisit Alice from the first field trip, now on the return journey boring underground for 2.5km! Alice is the 10th biggest tunnel boring machine ever built and the largest ever in the southern hemisphere.

Alice the tunnel-boring machine

You will meet the skilled people who are completing this ring route around Auckland city: one of the most important infrastructure developments ever to take place in New Zealand and our most challenging roading project ever.

Yes this is a BIG story which is why this is the second of four field trips as we follow the project to completion. Be in and play a part in history being made.

This trip fits well with big ideas like national identity, transport, teamwork, heritage, community, citizenship, economic development, sustainability. We'd love to get your students involved with this nationally significant project. Enrol now.

Teacher comments about previous Waterview Connection field trips

"Because it is our backyard it was very useful for the children to understand fully, how huge this project is." Sue Metzer, Kadimah College.

"Related closely to our transport topic for the term, which had a technology focus. High levels of student engagement in this topic, very interesting." Louise Parker, Twyford School.

"They learned more about a huge project that is occurring in their local area and have an interest and awareness that can be built on as the project continues, either in school or with their families." Jacqueline McGivern, St Therese School.

Go to more comments from teachers about Waterview Connection.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • pathways (ara) and their evolution to roadways
  • the significance of the roading network as an economic and social asset and community space owned by all New Zealanders
  • projects of national significance
  • the Auckland western ring route and the benefits of this project to New Zealanders, local residents and to the economy
  • the interconnectedness of modern transport systems with urban design, local connectivity, energy use, air quality, ecology, lighting, drainage ...
  • how Alice the TBM works
  • how Dennis the self-launching gantry works
  • students and engineers applying STEM principles to design, test and build scale models of ramps and bridges so they are strong

During the field trip you will:

  • take yourself back in time to when Māori followed a path from Manukau to Waitemata Harbours
  • discover once buried treasures and how these are being preserved
  • visit the design team's office and see how all the threads of this massive project tie together
  • meet some of the 1,000 people employed to design and construct the roadway
  • get permission to enter the construction area and see how Dennis creates his massive on-off ramps
  • get permission to enter the construction area and see how Alice creates her 14m diameter tunnels
  • see how special plants and animals are being looked after
  • see how green open spaces are being protected
  • see the latest technology and construction methods being used
  • be welcomed into the 'Alliance' and discover how the Alliance builds its team culture
  • sit in the driver's seats of large construction machinery
  • put questions to and meet some of the 1,000 strong workforce including engineers, geologists, digger drivers, managers and designers
  • put questions to engineers about their choice of designs and how they tested them
  • experience the construction closer than you would be permitted in person

Where you will go

You will fly into Auckland airport. To get to the city centre you will take the first part of the Western Ring Route, State Highway 20 until it comes to an end. That's where this field trip starts! The Waterview Connection tunnel will deliver 5km of 6-lane motorway through and beneath Auckland's western suburbs, linking State Highways 16 and 20 to complete the city's Western Ring Route by 2017. In years to come you will be able to say "I was part of that project!" Note weather and other factors out of our control may influence activities during the field trip. NZTA overview of Waterview Connection.

Learning Areas/Levels

Social Sciences: Geography Level 6; Social Studies: Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 2-4, Continuity and Change Levels 2-4, Place and Environment Levels 2-4; Technology: Technological Practice Levels 2-5, Technological Knowledge Levels 2-5, Nature of Technology Levels 2-5

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

    Not Registered with LEARNZ? Are you a New Zealand Registered or Provisionally-Registered Teacher? Register free with LEARNZ Now.

    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Getting Started.

    Teachers - Lost your password? Recover it here.

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.



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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: archaeology, Auckland, community involvement, construction, ecology, economy, environmental impacts, identity, infrastructure, Māori, NZ Transport Agency, preservation, roads, technological innovation, technology, transport, tunnel

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