Y7 and Y8 scale Antwerp harbour cranes

At Da Vinci, you're never disappointed when you hear the two words "field trip". In this case, Y7 and Y8 were lucky enough to hear they were going to go on an adventure to discover the old cranes along the river Scheldt. Antwerp being the beautiful city it is, made our walk interesting and exciting, and the 40 minutes were gone in the snap of a finger.

Our group made it to the MAS museum and headed to the cranes. We couldn't wait to start climbing and finding out what we were about to do. The group split in two, one group went to climb up the towering cranes, and the other group headed off to a 100-year-old crane that was powered by hand. The climbers had a blast as they made it up metres high in the sky. There were seven tiny rooms in the crane filled with controls that they had to climb over and then up some small ladders. Once at the top, it was cold, the wind was strong, and the view of the city was fantastic to see. The tour guide explained how cranes have developed from a bunch of handles and a huge and complicated control system to a few buttons and switches, but their purpose remains the same. The other group learned that things in the past could not just be done by a push of a button, and a lot of physical strength was needed to work the cranes. We had to use push and pull levers to lift 200kg which was a real challenge - but we did it together!

Reflection by Fiona Van Engeland and Dayne Ezzeddine

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