New Zealand college travels to Orlando USA to experience NASA

"EA tours took 32 excited teenagers and exhausted them in 5 days - all that was left was smiles!"

Brent Smith Long Bay College, New Zealand

With the help of EA, Long Bay College just took 32 of their students and 3 teachers from Auckland, New Zealand all the way to Orlando, USA for a 9-day Educational trip.

Long Bay College, a state school based on Auckland’s North Shore, have just been on an exciting US adventure to Orlando hosted by Educating Adventures. Encouraged by three enthusiastic teachers, the students worked hard in their weekend jobs to help save the money for the excursion. The whole group also got involved in some ice cream sales on the school campus to reach their goals and the reward came at the end of September as they jetted off for the most memorable school experience!

The group visited the Kennedy Space Centre, the amazing Universal theme parks, i-Fly and Boggy Creek. There was also time for some shopping and surfing along the way! EA have been working closely with lead teacher Brent Smith from September last year and that 12 month time frame was perfect to plan and execute this great trip for his school, the group had the best time and we are over the moon with their feedback! Read on for more details of their exciting itinerary then let us know how we can help you start working towards your dream school trip!

Day 1 – Arrival in Orlando, USA

Once off the plane in Orlando our EA representative Kara was there to greet the students and teachers. Kara is an EA tour manager who hosts and supports our schools throughout their travel. The students and teachers were excited to get to their accommodation and have a good night’s sleep to be ready for their first day of activities!

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On their way to America

Day 2 - Universal Studios

After a good night’s rest they were picked up at 9am and headed to Universal Studios where they went behind the scenes and jumped right into the action of their favourite movies! Universal Studios is the world's premier movie and TV based theme park. It's motto is ‘ride the movies’ and that’s definitely what the group did! The students and teachers enjoyed real film and TV shows such as Shrek, Simpsons and Minions, with the favourite activity today being the Transformers ride. The teachers and students sipped on pumpkin juice and Butter Beer in Harry Potter World and watched a wand choose a wizard at Ollivanders wand shop!

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Universal Studios

Day 3 - Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex and lunch with an astronaut

Picked up in the morning by their private coach Long Bay College visited the Kennedy Space Center for the day. KSC is an educational center which allows students to explore and tour NASA areas and interact with shows and exhibits. At lunch the students enjoyed a one-of-a-kind experience by having lunch with an NASA astronaut, giving them an up-close and personal opportunity to share their experience! Some recent additions to the Center now include the Space Shuttle Atlantis, Angry Birds Encounter, and The Hubble Telescope exhibit. Finishing their day with family style dinner at the vibrant Taverna Opa, a restaurant highlight including traditional Greek folk dancing!    

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Lunch with an Astronaut

Day 4 - Space Explorers Adventure & Cocoa Beach

Today started with a trip back to KSC to participate in Space Explores Adventure. Students and teachers experienced virtual training in an Orbiter using computer based software on Partial Task Trainers (PTTs). They also got to perform a space shuttle mission simulation using full scare orbiter fore body and authentic mission control, complete with mission training and simulated missions! Later in the day we took them to Cocoa Beach, were the students enjoyed the surf and relaxed on the beach for the afternoon.
Lots of laughs and videos taken today!

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Cocoa Beach

Day 5 -  I-Fly, Boggy Creek Airboats & shopping

After a light breakfast at their accommodation Long Bay College headed to I-Fly, a Physics and freefall workshop. The students joined a 40-minute lecture taught by an accredited physics professor, then were exhilarated after experiencing a one-minute freefall in a state of the art vertical wind tunnel - with wind speeds of 130 to 175+ mph! Next stop was Boggy Creek boat rides were they glided through the wetlands on a beautiful Florida wildlife tour. Boggy Creek Airboat rides is the best way to experience the beautiful Central Florida Everglades and they could not have picked a better afternoon, the weather was amazing! The group also enjoyed the Native American Village at Boggy Creek where they discovered links to New Zealand Maori heritage. They day ended with shopping and dinner at the Florida Mall.

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Boggy Creek Airboats

Day 6 - Islands of Adventure with Education programme

Day 6 was the last day of Long Bay College's planned activities, everyone got to enjoy a science and technology themed tour of the Islands of Adventure theme park, were they had the opportunity to discover the sciences used to create the world’s most technologically-advanced theme park! The day was topped off by dinner on Universal City Walk at Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville, one of the best family restaurants in Florida.

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Long Bay College at the Islands of Adventure program

Day 7 - Departure Day

Its departure day! After a week of exploring what Orlando has to offer, students and teachers pack up and enjoyed a leisurely morning in their hotel before traveling to the airport and saying their goodbyes to our lovely EA rep Kara.

"The trip was perfect, Emma made everything so easy!"
Brent Smith, Long Bay College.

International school trips can often be seen by teachers and parents alike as a financially unachievable goal, but Long Bay College have proved that with a combination of supported, enthusiastic teachers, motivated students and the right time frame these trips are possible and the benefits are endless.

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