The students at Tsukuba International School have worked as firefighters, pilots, surgeons, interior designers and soft ice-cream vendors -- and all on the same day! TIS took a field trip to Kidzania on February 6, 2007. Kidzania is a 6000 square meter miniature replica of a city center complete with theaters, shops, a hospital, and restaurants. Be careful walking across the streets so as not to step in front of ambulances and firetrucks rushing (kid pace) to an emergency with kid aid workers inside and sirens ablaze . Students can choose from over 70 jobs and get paid for their efforts. After a quick visit to the bank to open an account, TIS students were able to take out their 'Kidzos' cash from an ATM and spend it on rock climbing, car and cellphone rentals or merchandise in the department store.
The site is very kid friendly offering impressive security features and clearly putting a lot of thought into making things child-centered. For example, parents are not allowed into the job site and are left helplessly looking on through glass windows giving their kids a sense of independence and accomplishment. Also, Japanese yen are not accepted leaving kids with all the buying power. Our students very much enjoyed the role reversal and while having amusement park levels of fun, were able to learn what it's like to put in a hard day's work and the value of the money they earned.
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