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Manchester High School for Girls

AWE-INSPIRING ARIZONA AND NEVADA

A group of 38 Physics and Geography students have just returned from an exhilarating trip to Arizona and Nevada, USA.

They wasted no time in exploring the awe-inspiring landscapes Arizona has to offer, and headed to the Grand Canyon on day one. The group enjoyed a mile long walk down the Canyon along the snake path, whilst making sure they followed the Canyon Highway Code to the letter: ‘walk on the right hand side of the path and always give mules the right of way’.

The walk took the girls to the ‘Ooh and Aah’ point where they could sit and take in the vastness of the canyon while having a spot of lunch. After hours of admiring the beauty of the Canyon, the group headed back to their base in Flagstaff for a pizza party and card games.

Petrified Forest National Park

On day two, the group visited Petrified Forest National Park in north eastern Arizona. The girls learned about the 225 million years old log fossils and the Painted Desert, known for its beautiful array of colours. They also saw the huge Meteor Crater of Arizona which was formed after a 50m meteorite hit the earth around 50,000 years ago.

The following day took the girls to Sedona, a beautiful town just south of Flagstaff. They saw the uniquely shaped hill, Bell Rock, and stopped for lunch in town where local restaurants serve rattle snake sausage, buffalo skewers and deep-fried cactus.

At Bell Rock

After a spot of shopping in Sedona, it was time to look up to the skies at the Lowell observatory, and for the Physics teachers to get very excited! An Astrophysics student, based at the observatory, gave the girls a lecture about the life of stars and galaxies. They also got to see the telescope which was used in the planning of the moon landing.

Back at Flagstaff the group enjoyed a game of competitive bowling before getting ready to head for Las Vegas.

And indeed, on day four, the girls set off for glitzy Vegas. On the way there, they stopped at the Hoover Dam, a huge concrete dam on the border between the states of Arizona and Nevada.

Hoover Dam

They ventured down into the depths of the hoover dam power room and then viewed the enormous structure from the observation deck. 

As soon as the group arrived to Vegas, everyone dived straight into the hotel pool and hot tub. They wrapped up the day eating at Bubba Gump shrimp restaurant and enjoying the Bellagio light and fountain show.

Next up, on day five, was a visit to the Springs Preserve.

Mrs Reynolds explained: “The Origen centre had some amazing geographical simulations which were great for the GCSE Geography girls. They also had a devoted area to desert wildlife with animals such as the desert rabbit, grey fox, rattle snake and many others.

Springs Preserve

“The solar house and energy saving centre were excellent, as were the botanical gardens. Having just seen a simulation of a flash flood in one of the exhibits, we experienced a real desert rainstorm. It made us all realise how severe and dangerous they can be.” 

The somewhat wet afternoon was wrapped up with shopping at a mall and having dinner at Hard Rock Café.

On their final day, the group explored Las Vegas at a close proximity to the hotel. They walked the monorail through Luxor to New York, New York and, of course, the roller coaster.  After a brief visit to the M&M World, the girls headed back to the hotel to enjoy a quick dip in the pool before getting ready to return home.

Mrs Reynolds concluded:

“What an adventure, we all had a wonderful time. What made it so special to the teachers was the way so many people complimented our girls on their great humour, excellent behaviour and politeness. This makes us very proud.”