The 4s Explore the Natural History Museum

Monday 3rd July 2017

On Thursday 22 June 2017, all the 4s explored the Natural History Museum in London.

We reviewed the Human Body gallery to consolidate many of the concepts covered this year from digestion, with the 3D model of villi from the small intestine, to the homeostatic race to keep all our systems functioning as conditions change around us.

The Animal gallery with the awe-inspiring 26ft Blue whale model as the focal point was also explored. This included a diverse array of animal specimens, often with their skeletons exposed, leading to a great discussion amongst some students as to how the skeleton of a panther was both similar and different to our own.  We were also given the chance to compare and contrast the animal skulls of a lion, cheetah and a panda.

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The dinosaur gallery was a popular exhibit to extend our comparison of skeletons and a must when visiting the home of the T. rex!

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Our main challenge of the day was to participate in the ‘Investigate session’ lead by the museum staff, where students where able to handle specimens and use their observational skills to discover features and the identity their chosen specimen.  These included turtle shells, starfish, mica crystals, ammonite fossils, a sperm whale tooth, tarantula, snake skin, seed pods and so much more!

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Across the day girls were asked to record an example of a specimen, fact or museum feature that surprised them, known as their awe and wonderment moment.  In their own words:

“My awe and wonderment moment today was the optical illusions in the Human Biology room because it was fascinating to see how pictures can trick your mind” G. Lewis

“When I found out the museum had over 80 million specimens and that we only see 1% of their collection”. Z. Obamakinwa

“When I learnt that the first shark existed before the first tree.  I found this out in our Q&A session in the Investigation Room, where we also got to examine specimens of many different natural things without knowing what they actually are”. M. Skeil

“Seeing how big the whale was and that is it 2323 times heavier than me”. D. Sturt

“A lady showed us a lioness skull and let us hold it and told us all about it”.  B. Fitzgerald

“The skeletons of the dinosaurs – you could imagine what they looked like in real life more and get an idea of size”.  L. Biggin