Over three days in April, Tara Bennett and I joined 18 passionate Year 10 students from Caroline Chisholm College, Menai High School, Hurlstone Ag High, St Greg's College, Cherrybrook Technology High School, Gosford High School, Colo High School, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College and Bede Polding College at a camp run by the University of Western Sydney (UWS) Hawkesbury Campus and the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS).
We were allocated to teams of 3, loaned an iPad and engaged in tutorials on using the iPad and iMovie app. After some fun and bonding, we learnt about new innovations in farming and refined our video skills prior to boarding a bus for the Sydney Royal Easter Show. We experienced the Carriers Expo to gain inspiration to create a unique and creative iMovie in order to promote agriculture to teenagers visiting the Sydney Royal Easter Show and in schools. Developing the idea and concepts for our video concepts was quite challenging and thought provoking. On the second day it was an early 5.30am start, so that we could get to the Show in time to have a Google Hang Out with New York which was put on YouTube, have a look! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjH_jgRzfjc
The experience was pretty cool, we heard firsthand about the agriculture initiatives that were happening in New York and we had a chance to share what was happening in Australian agriculture. Following breakfast, we went to the technology section of the Woolworths Dome to learn about new technologies in agriculture such as the Felix Weber's Swinglet flying wing camera that can fly for 30 minutes and return to its launch point without aid (it is computer controlled). The unit weighs 500 grams with an airframe made of Styrofoam. It’s battery powered and carries a 150-gram NIR (near infra red) capable camera. The time had now arrived to engage in our planning/filming activity before moving to a chocolate workshop. We didn’t just eat chocolate, we learnt about how chocolate is made, where it comes from, what ingredients does or should go into chocolates and how the cacao beans are farmed, and yes we did get to eat the chocolate but we went through some steps to access the chocolate. Day three started with the final editing of our iMovie’s ready for presentation to our peers, April Browne and Chris Vella (the USW supervisors for the camp) and our parents. When the camp was over and we had to say goodbye, I was sad and wanted the camp to never end but I knew that I had friends for life.
Written by Laura Feeney, Year 10 Student