Year 11 Scientific Studies students visit the Adelaide Central Market

Central Market

On Friday 12 November the Year 11 Scientific Studies (Agricultural Innovation) class had an excursion to the Adelaide Central Market in order to work collaboratively for the final SACE assessment task (Collaborative Task - Ripening fruit under controlled conditions).

After alerting the stallholders of five different fresh produce stalls that a small group of students would be asking questions (which they were given a copy of) and receiving acknowledgement that they were happy to answer questions, I met the students as pre-arranged. Students had travelled from Whyalla and the Riverland, as well as locally, to be involved.

After having a coffee and a chat, we began walking around the market. The students talked to each of the stallholders, asking their questions and recording the responses (typing into their phones).

It was impressive to see them deciding how they could share the responsibilities for gaining information. Their questions had been brainstormed in one of the lessons prior and were all student-initiated. They asked about the fruit and vegetables and the methods/strategies used to ensure that the produce is suitably ripe for sale (as they were investigating techniques used to ripen fruit artificially).

Students talked to both organic and non-organic stallholders and found a common theme emerging regarding the source of the produce, how far it travelled to arrive at the market and for how long stallholders kept their produce on the shelf before disposing of it to charities, OzHarvest or in the organics bin (for composting) if it was deemed inedible.

They discovered that each stallholder sold fruit that differentiated it from other stalls, from durians to figs sourced from local backyard growers. Many stalls were family businesses and had been for a long time.

During our walk around the market, we stopped for a chat at the Market Stall. This is the Information Centre, and the students were able to ask questions as well as talk about what they had observed. The woman on duty was very generous with her time and remarked on how knowledgeable, interesting (and interested) and polite the students were. She emphasised how impressed she was with their behaviour.

Once all the stallholders had been questioned, we went to the food hall to buy lunch (and bubble tea) and collaboratively discuss what the students found out from their discussions with stallholders. While everyone was together, we also used the time to collaboratively plan the next steps in the investigation before each student was collected or travelled home.

This was the first time that I had met most of my students face-to-face. I enjoyed our time together, particularly observing how well they got on with each other and how fantastically they worked together to achieve their learning goal.

Last updated: 07 December 2021