Education Program at HQ
Metro Tunnel HQ has been closed for the time being as a precautionary response to the COVID-19 situation.
The Metro Tunnel and Regional Rail Revival education program activities will also be put on hold during this time. If you’re a school or a community group who is booked in to visit Metro Tunnel HQ, Rail Projects Victoria will contact you shortly to discuss alternative future arrangements. We are still taking bookings for Term 4 but reserve the right to cancel these in line with the latest advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The safety of our visitors, staff and members of the public is our top priority. We apologise for any inconvenience.
The Metro Tunnel will underpin Melbourne's rail network growth for decades to come. Our young people have a bigger stake than anyone in our city’s future transport system.
With them in mind, we have created an education program based at our visitor centre, Metro Tunnel HQ, that will show them what our project means to them as future citizens and workers, targeting careers learning and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths.
If you're planning a visit to the city with your class, make time for a free session at Metro Tunnel HQ, 125-133 Swanston Street.
Learning activities at Metro Tunnel HQ
Metro Tunnel HQ
Students are free to visit Metro Tunnel HQ independently, for example as part of a pre-planned city explorer trail organised by their school. If you intend sending more than 5 students at a time into the visitor centre or would like a more holistic experience with targeted activities in our dedicated classroom space, let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs.
We can cater to groups of all ages and sizes, however our program is best suited to the following:
- Groups of 10-30 (for staffing reasons we do not offer classroom sessions for less than 10 students)
- Years 3-9
The public area of Metro Tunnel HQ encourages students to experience the project first hand, whether digging deep under the city on board our virtual tunnel boring machine or navigating their way around the future rail network.
The upstairs classroom space provides an opportunity to extend your students understanding of how public transport is changing and consider the opportunities presented by the Melbourne of the future.
(Grade 3-4) 75 mins
- Stages of Construction: Specially tailored for this age group, combine a shortened tour of the visitor centre with this puzzle session that helps kids understand why big builds take so long! They’ll learn some big new words and be tasked with putting all the stages of construction in the right order to get the job done.
(Year 5-6) 120 mins
- Time Traveller: Exploring the features of transport past and present and then using our imaginations to consider just what the future might hold.
Secondary Students (Year 9) 120 mins
(Note: These sessions target Year 9 reading and maths levels but can be adapted for groups of students in Years 7-11)
- Careers Explorer: Discovery session designed to unearth the surprising range of roles available in large infrastructure projects and how these align with individual students’ skills and passions.
- Voluminous Matters: A “real world” soil engineering workshop calculating the volume of spoil to be excavated and determining the logistics of removal, including “wicked” factors such as cost, environmental impact and local transport conditions. The maths is very straightforward, involves calculating the volume of cubes and cylinders, but students do need to have been exposed to the concept of Pi.
We recommend scheduling a visit to the ground floor visitor centre displays, together with a targeted activity in the upstairs classroom space. For larger groups, or a more one on one experience, we can divide the class and alternate the groups between these two activities. Either way, allow 2 hours (120 minutes) for this type of session (or 75 minutes for our Grade 3-4 Stages of Construction session).
If you plan to visit just public displays on the ground floor, allow at least 60 minutes, so students have time to go on a walking tour to view the Town Hall Station construction site, try out the virtual reality tunnel boring machines, find out their train route benefits and play the digital game.
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- "We enjoyed the interactive, well targeted and engaging displays and activities and I have no doubt that this rich real world learning experience will produce some budding engineers. Thank you Metro Tunnel HQ."
Marnie Power, Digital Technologies Teacher, St. Gabriel's Primary School - Reservoir.
- "We were very impressed with the excellent introduction to the transport project, the quality displays available and presentation by your team. The content of the discussion was pitched perfectly for the students. What an exciting project that these children will directly benefit from in the near future."
Michael Doukakis, Teacher at Knox Park Primary School - Knoxfield.
- "Our girls found the visit to Metro Tunnel HQ very motivating. The sessions gave them the chance to see STEM in action and how women can be part of that world. Many students have reviewed their career options as a result of taking part in the program."
Catherine Kirby, Senior School Head of Science, Lowther Hall.
- "The visitor centre was fantastic with all the hands-on technology, and my students got a lot out of the maths based Voluminous Matters activity. The Metro Tunnel is such a valid project for them. It’s going to impact their lives. They’re going to be using this transport, they might even be working with it!"
Rebecca Seel, STEM Lead, Albert Park College.
Metro Tunnel HQ is located at 125-133 Swanston St - right opposite the Melbourne Town Hall close to the corner of Little Collins St. It's only 5 minutes' walk from Federation Square and Flinders Street Station.
A 2 hour booking at Metro Tunnel HQ is made up of two equal parts:
1. Town Hall Station Site and Visitor Centre Experience
Students will be taken on a short walk to look at the Town Hall Station construction site led by one of our knowledgeable visitor centre staff who will provide a contextualised overview of the Metro Tunnel Project. The group will then return to the visitor centre where they will have time to complete a guided exploration of the various activities and information on display.
2a. Primary school students: Time Traveller Activity
Students will head upstairs to the Metro Tunnel HQ classroom for a facilitator led activity exploring public transport past, present and future.
2b. Secondary school students: Careers Explorer Activity
Students will head upstairs to the Metro Tunnel HQ classroom space for a facilitator led activity which explores the world of work on a large infrastructure project like the Metro Tunnel.
Groups of 17-30 students will be split into two and alternate between the sessions. Smaller groups will do the walking tour and visitor centre experience first, then the relevant activity.
The accompanying teacher can divide the group themselves based on their knowledge of how the students interact, or visitor centre staff will do this randomly on arrival
2c. Secondary school students: Voluminous Matter Activity
Students will head upstairs to the Metro Tunnel HQ classroom space for a facilitator led activity where they will calculate the volume of spoil to be excavated during the project using real data, and then determine a suitable logistics solution for removing the spoil.
A shorter booking at Metro Tunnel HQ does not include a classroom activity. Choose from:
Visitor Centre Experience – 30 mins
The group will undertake a guided exploration of the various activities and information on display
Town Hall Station Site and Visitor Centre Experience – 60 mins
Students will be taken on a short walk to the Town Hall Station construction site led by one of our knowledgeable visitor centre staff who will provide a contextualised overview of the Metro Tunnel Project. The group will then return to the visitor centre where they will have time to complete a guided exploration of the various activities and information on display
Given the visitor centre caters to the general public as well as school bookings, we prefer to keep the number of students from any one school in this space to a maximum of 16. If your group is larger we can look at running multiple sessions for them.
Metro Tunnel HQ is a public visitor centre. Smaller groups of students can visit independently, for example as part of a pre-planned city explorer trail organised by their school. If you’re adding an independent Metro Tunnel HQ stop to your program we recommend allocating 15-30 minutes for this activity.
However, if you intend sending more than 5 students at a time (or an entire year group) through the visitor centre, please let us know by requesting a booking. That way we know they are coming and can manage your student’s engagement around other visitor centre activities.
- We’ll make sure we have copies of our activity card ready so that your students can complete a guided exploration of the various activities and information on display.
- Students who complete the activity card will receive a Metro Tunnel button badge.
- The activity card can serve as confirmation that students visiting independently have indeed made the stop as requested by their teacher.
We can run two longer sessions per day with up to 30 students per session.
Shorter bookings for just the visitor centre experience are scheduled around these longer bookings.
Where possible we try to run the sessions at a time between 9.30 and 3.00pm that best suits the school group.
However, we understand that many groups need to leave the city quite early to get back to school in time for students to connect with their normal transportation options. We may request a 9.30 start for some morning bookings in order to allow time for a break and to reset the room ahead of a 12.00pm start for an afternoon session.
We request that you arrive approx. 10 minutes before the start time for session with us, so we can orientate the students and do a little housekeeping.
If you are running late for a booking, please call us on the number we provided in your booking confirmation.
The visitor centre is on the ground floor with direct access from Swanston St.
The Metro Tunnel HQ classroom is located upstairs on the first floor above the visitor centre. We can arrange for people with a temporary or permanent disability to access this facility via the lift in the foyer adjacent to the visitor centre.
Please let us know ahead of time if you have questions or concerns about access for any of your students.
Rail Projects Victoria oversees the Metro Tunnel Project, but doesn't have any role in operating the public transport system or ticketing.
Victorian primary school groups can travel free on off-peak trains, trams, coaches and buses.
Visit the Public Transport Victoria website for details.
We recommend teachers and supervisors accompany students at a ratio of 1:10 for primary groups and 1:15 for secondary groups.
We cannot accommodate visits of more than 5 students at a time unless they are accompanied by a teacher.
We request that a teacher accompany the group/s on their walk to and from the Town Hall Station site if that is part of their booking. It's only about 100 metres away, on the cnr of Collins St, but there's traffic and pedestrian crossings to negotiate, so we'd appreciate your assistance in ensuring safety as we move about "The World's Busiest Tram Corridor".
All staff at Metro Tunnel HQ have a current Working with Children Check.
Please discuss appropriate behaviour with your students to ensure that everyone can enjoy their Metro Tunnel HQ experience.
We expect groups to arrive suitably dressed for the weather but Metro Tunnel HQ reserves the right to modify your group's program in response to extreme conditions. In particular, high temperatures, wet or stormy weather may impact the opportunity to take a walk to view the Town Hall Station construction site. In this eventuality staff will make every effort substitute with alternative activities.
Ideally, leave them at school. We’re hoping that students have been advised to bring only minimal baggage with them for their trip to the city.
Groups heading out to the Town Hall Station construction site and exploring the downstairs displays will keep their bags with them. Upstairs, in the classroom space, there is room for students to leave their bags close to where they will be working.
We request that visitors do not bring food into Metro Tunnel HQ and that all drinks be in screw top containers or water bottles. Packed lunches can be eaten at nearby Federation Square.
There are no public toilet facilities at Metro Tunnel HQ. We strongly advise that school groups visit the public toilets beneath Melbourne Town Hall near the corner of Collins St or at Flinders St Station (if arriving by train) before commencing a session with us.
At present the facilities at Metro Tunnel HQ do not allow for this. Mini Melbourne and the associated resources are designed for use at your school. The Victorian Department of Education and training provided all public schools with Minecraft licenses in 2018. However, if your students have completed Metro Tunnel Archaeology Adventure and you would like to bring them into the visitor centre to learn more about the Metro Tunnel Project, we may be able to schedule a session where they can share their findings and reports with the Education Program staff, as an alternative to undertaking one of our other classroom offerings. You can ask about this by making notes in the additional comments box at the end of our Booking Enquiry Form.