Stepping Stone believes that education is the best foundation for a better future and we believe that Education is not confined within the four walls of the classrooms. This is why every year, we like to expose our students to different areas that would give them opportunities to discover and learn new things with classmates and parents.
It was totally a good opportunity also for bonding and friendship with all parents and guardians. We invited all the students to join the wonderful learning experience during the fieldtrip held last March 16, 2018 Friday. We had something exciting that day to remember as it was only one week before the Recognition Day and end of the school year.
Everyone gathered at Stepping Stone Makati for departure at exactly 7:40 a.m. Two (2) coasters, courtesy of Makati Social Welfare Department of the City of Makati, left the school and arrived at our first itenerary, the MMDA Road Safety Park. The park is situated right across Manila Zoo. It was actually a Children’s Playground before the City of Manila entrusted it to the MMDA. It is open for free everyday, except Wednesdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
When we got there, the staff let us in and we headed straight to the holding area where we let our students sit on chairs and listened to the orientation about the Park and the different road signs. With the help of a female tour guide, we were able to see road signs everywhere as we went up close and personal to each one. There was a lone intersection with stoplights, many pedestrian lanes for crossing the streets, small “establishments” in the park, perfect for talking about what you find in the city and the signs that go along with them.There was a gas station, a church, a restaurant, and a hospital. There was also a waiting shed, a cool pedestrian tunnel were everyone experienced walking under, a bike lane, and a miniature example of a train track.
Everyone was so happy to have discovered the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park as it provided our students fun, interactive, and experiential learnings. We encourage everyone to visit the park for your kids to learn about city street signs and road safety.
If you encounter a traffic sign in a book, go explore the park and make the concepts in the book jump out of the pages. On our way home, we checked the roads for signs that we learned at the Park. We then noticed and realized that there were a lot of road signs, such as the H for hospital and the no honking sign which means there is either a church or school nearby.
Where learning begins and fun never ends, that’s the tag line offered by Museo Pambata which was our second stop after visiting the Park. We headed straight to Roxas Boulevard where the museum is located. Though it was a bit hot and sunny that day, it did not stop us from being energized and made our students even more excited.
Learning a great deal about the world is not and should not be confined to textbooks, photos, videos, websites, documentaries, and other media. In fact, most of what we truly learn comes from our experiences and interaction with the real world. We would have a better understanding of the concepts we encounter in textbooks, teacher’s lectures, educational TV shows, and other media if we have a glimpse of or if we experience the outside world.
Furthermore, it is enormously more fun to actually see, feel, smell, and truly experience something than just having to see read or hear about it. And we all know that if something is fun, you are more interested to learn. That is why the school decided to choose Museo Pambata as every student will both enjoy and learn.
After a half an hour or so of travel from Park, we finally arrived at the Museo Pambata along Roxas Boulevard. Museo Pambata’s façade was pretty cool sporting a classic Spanish inspired building in the midst of an ultramodern community. Large colorful banners outside entice children welcomed everyone to visit the museum to play, discover, explore, and learn.
By the time we got there, there were plenty of students from other schools having a tour already. When we arrived inside, the Museum staff briefly gathered us and the children and gave us a short history and rules of the museum. The exhibit features a very nice activity area where children can read, write, draw, and play. The Museo Pambata had a hands-on exhibit that children can see, touch, hear, and experience as well. It is truly an interactive museum, one that also functions as a playground, art center, and library. It makes learning, exploration, and discovery more fun.
First, we went to the Kalikasan Exhibit, a simulated coastal area and rainforest. The exhibit showcases the beauty of Mother Nature, inspiring children to take action to protect her. The coastal area was our first stop. Upon entering, it seemed like we were actually underwater. There were huge sculptures of jellyfish, kelps, dolphins, and other sea creatures like shells and marine mollusks were the jewels of the sea.
As a second stop, we explored an area called Creepy Crawlers. As you guessed it, the area displays spiders, insects, worms, and other organisms that make your skin itch and crawl. Of course, none were alive; all were just sculptures. There were colossal red ants marching down the museum’s walls too!
We then visited a large section of exhibit and displays of the typical life in the mountains, far away provinces, and rural areas in the Philippines. The museum has a nice simulated rice paddy that explains how farming in the Philippines is done. Back in the main building we visited another exhibit that took us to a journey back in time, hundreds of years past. The exhibit features what Manila was like during the early 15th to the mid 19th century. Upon entering, the Old Manila Exhibit , we saw large illuminated posters of our national heroes. Another highlight of the Old Manila Exhibit was this huge replica of a Spanish-Era Cathedral. By the looks of it, it was a replica of the exalted Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, popularly known as the Quiapo Church. The interior of the Quiapo Church replica features a beautifully rendered altar that displays various religious figures that faithful Roman Catholic Filipinos worship.
Yet another highlight of the exhibit was the wooden tram. It was a replica of one of Meralco’s Tranvia, the country’s first electric railway that started operating in 1905. There was also the famous La Puerta del Sol, the country’s first and only department store during that time. The Museo Pambata built a replica of a classic Bahay na Bato (house of stone). The Bahay na Bato is a typical residence of the upper and middle-class families during the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the most iconic features of the Bahay na Bato is its wood-framed sliding windows that are adorned with translucent capiz shells. Students were able to climb up the second floor and have their souvenir pictures taken.
After that, we went to Pamilihang Bayan, a proliferation of modern and convenient air-conditioned malls and grocery stores. Museo Pambata goal for this area is to re-integrate children to the concept of traditional shopping and the dynamics of a classic Filipino neighborhood. All over the place were small stores that “sell” various goods that are typically found in open-air markets and neighborhood stores. Our students had fun taking the role of shopkeepers, which someday may spark their entrepreneurial interests.
There was even a friendly Fire Station too, complete wih a fire truck and firemen’s uniforms where students got to ride on. Along the way, we found expertly done paintings made by some of the Philippines’ best artists. Most of the paintings depict everyday activities of the Filipino child. There was a young booklover’s favorite place! The second floor of the museum had a lovely, colorful
library filled with interesting books with a built-in children’s slide inside.
The My Body Works Exhibit allows children to discover the human body with the use of a tunnel maze. The exhibit aims to explain to children how body organs work and how to keep the body healthy and it all starts with the mouth. So, upon entering the exhibit, visitors can see the giant esophagus, which act as a playtunnel for kids. The exhibit features giant models of the human organs, all interactive with information boards. You can even listen to your friend’sheartbeat, discover the sounds that certain body parts make, know how the heart works, feel objects without seeing them, and many others.
After we saw all the interactive diplays and exhibits in the museum, students, guardians, teachers andeveryone gathered and had time to take some group pictures. Then, we went back to our respective coasters and received Jollibee as free lunch. Though everyone seemed tired, we were so happy and had a great time inside the museum. After taking lunch inside the coasters, we left the museum and eventually traveled back to school in Makati.
Thank you, Museo Pambata! Our almost 2-hour stay in the interactive museum was truly enjoyable, and all the Stepping Stone students definitely learned a lot. It was indeed a day to remember. Of course, everything was made possible because of the hard work of the schools Board of Trustees, all the teachers and staff and the generosity of our sponsors. With the cooperation, usual support and diligence of everyone, especially the families and parents of our students, it was truly a successful and memorable field trip!.