Shirase welcomes aboard Fremantle College Marine Studies Kids

Yesterday, Fremantle College Year 8 Specialist Marine Studies students visited the Japanese Icebreaker Shirase, currently tied up in Fremantle’s inner harbour, accompanied by the Mayor of Fremantle and representatives from the Japanese Consulate, as well as Fremantle College’s Marketing Communications Officer, Claire Watkinson, who kindly shared with us her report on the visit.

The visit was a great success. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. At the end of the visit one student was overheard to say: “That was so cool, definitely not something I will forget quickly – straight to the memory bank”. Which pretty much sums up the day.

Our Year 8 Specialist Marine Studies students were met by Japanese Consulate Officials and the Mayor of Fremantle, Hannah Fitzhardinge. The students were then split into 3 groups and taken on a tour around the impressive ship.

First the students visited the Bridge where they got a bird’s eye view of our beautiful port and learnt about the specific roles of the Captain and his Executive Officers.

Then it was off to the Control room – testing fire alarm systems and learning about how this area controls the whole ship.

After that they saw the Hospital, Dental Clinic, Anchor Area, Helicopter Storage Areas and the Helicopter on the deck.

They walked the entire ship, and realised how many staircases there were and how high the ship was above sea level.

Throughout there were discussions about how saltwater is used from large jets at the bow of the ship to help break through the ice, and students also got to hear about how food is stored (and how much required – container after container) for the long trips at sea.

The Year 8 cohort is currently engaged in learning about Earth Sciences, focusing on topics related to ice and glaciers, including Icebreaker ships. The students were rather excited to touch and look at a 10,000 year old Antarctic ice block. This excursion was a practical extension of their classroom studies, bringing the theoretical knowledge to life.

No other schools have had the privilege of experiencing this unique opportunity. Fremantle College thank the Mayor of Fremantle Hannah Fitzhardinge and the Japanese Consul for the opportunity. We hope to be able to visit again next year with the next group of Year 8s coming through.

By the way folks, applications to enter Fremantle College’s Specialist Marine Studies for Year 7 2025 are now open and close on 10 May 2024. The applications can be made online right here.

Fremantle College are also hosting and Open Day on 22 April 2024 for prospective families want to find out more about Fremantle College. Find out more here.

* Report by Claire Watkinson


** if you missed Jean Hudson’s recent article on Icebreakers, including Shirase, here it is again!

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