18 June, 2018 Academic

Year 2 students build ‘Mini Melbourne’

Across the term, Year 2 students have been diligently working on their Transdisciplinary Learning unit, ‘Build It Up’, in both physical and virtual spaces, to create their very own ‘Mini Melbourne’. By investigating the form and function of our cities most important and influential buildings, students discovered the significance of infrastructure and ongoing development in order for a city to run effectively and efficiently.

Year 2 students build ‘Mini Melbourne’

Classroom Teacher, Miss Amy Rogers, outlines the buildings that students identified as having a different yet important role in our society. ‘They chose St Paul’s Cathedral, the Arts Centre, Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Shrine of Remembrance, Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and the Eureka Tower,’ said Miss Rogers. ‘Stemming from this selection, students were able to thoroughly explore the way in which many factors influence the design and building of these structures.’

Year 2 students build ‘Mini Melbourne’

Having previously worked with Google Tiltbrush, a Virtual Reality application that students utilised to design their version of Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’, students were able to make effective use of Google Blocks under the guidance of Learning Platforms Administrator, Mr Ed Wong and Literature and Research Teacher, Ms Bryony Horrocks.

View the students work below. Use your mouse to move through, and to zoom in and out as you go. Hint: see if you can find each of the buildings listed above.


Google Blocks allows students to design and create a virtual space, to understand where each block is placed and how it fits into the overall design, to be able to create something on paper and transition that thinking into a 3D design is a real-world skill for them to begin developing.
Technology is going to play a large role in our future, so these skills students are developing will still be applicable in 10 years time.
Mr Wong

Building on their knowledge of form and function, they developed their learnings through a series of workshops. ‘Combining traditional forms of learning with new hands-on inquiry-based learning tools is extremely useful for students in the long term’, said Mr Wong. ‘It provides students with a fully immersive feel for the environment, which is really exciting for them.

Year 2 students build ‘Mini Melbourne’

Students also explored Melbourne’s CBD, venturing all the way to the top of the Eureka Skydeck and documenting their real-life observations into their building research. ‘The excursion to the Eureka Tower in Week 6 allowed students to experience our city from a different perspective – 285m above sea level,’ noted Miss Rogers. ‘From this viewpoint, students could easily locate each of the profiled buildings, capture new learnings and form new wonderings.’

To facilitate their recreation of iconic buildings, students received a visit from an Architect and Interior Designer. ‘They walked students through the design process, and we were able to link our shape learning to their discussions,’ said Miss Rogers. ‘Students applied their newly learnt knowledge of the preliminary stages of design by sketching, making small models with Tinker Tubs, in preparation for their physical recreations.’

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  • year-2-students-build-mini-melbourne
    Anisha with her mother, Nupur, building the Arts Centre.

The culmination of their term’s study was hosting a ‘Mini Melbourne’ Grow Zone Day on 15 June, where parents and friends experienced a physical re-creation of Melbourne’s iconic buildings and landmarks in the Year 2 classrooms; some even assisted with the build!

‘Anisha initially asked me to volunteer and it’s great to be part of one of her projects and spend time with her,’ said Anisha’s mother, Nupur.

One of the first parents to test the Virtual Reality equipment and experience the students’ work virtually was Jacquie. ‘I loved seeing their interpretation of the buildings and now we’re seeing them build on the experience.’

Year 2 students, Oliver and Olive, stepped up to the task of MC’ing the event; assiduously asking their peers about the function, form and interesting facts of their chosen building. Below are some of the group learnings.


Discovering the purpose of buildings
The purpose is so that people can have a new experience.’ — Scarlett

My brother had a concert there.’ — Miranda

 I went there with my dad and one of my friends to go and see the Avengers Exhibition.’ — Felix

It can be used for the comedy festival.’ — Jacques


Interesting facts about buildings
‘The MCG is the tallest light tower in the world.’

‘The Shrine of Remembrance officially opened in 1834.’

‘In 2016, the Eureka Tower was the 15th tallest residential building in the world.’