College – Issue 40

Year 12 Biology students ThimethWijesinghe and Yusef Elnahas share memories of their time in the Southern Alps. After two-and-a-half weeks of classroom work, it was time for the Year 12 biologists to set off on an assignment like no other. Their objective? To complete an internal assessment on a three-day field trip to Temple Basin. The students were anxious, not knowing what to expect, but there was also a sense of excitement – after all, it was three days away from school. Following the bus ride through Arthur’s Pass, the group was blown away by the towering mountains, pristine air and, to top it all off, perfect weather, with not a cloud

in sight. We walked for about an hour on what seemed to be a river of rocks zig-zagging upwards to Temple Basin Lodge, our home for the next few days. We settled in for the highest lunch – at 1375 metres – on land, prepared by the wonderful Temple Basin staff. Then it was time to get down to business. We took a walk to observe the adaptations of plants that allow them to survive in such harsh environments. It is intriguing to witness how different plant species have different mechanisms to survive. Notably, lichens – a combination of fungi and algae – have an ability to break down rock and form soil. Dusk soon fell and nightly activities were in full swing. Intense chess games and card games proved to

College Issue 40 2021


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