Dinosaurs, Volcanos and Mini Beasts

Dinosaurs, Volcanos and Mini Beasts

It was a great day we all had out at the Natural History Museum in London. We all got to admire the beautiful architecture of the building and guided railings, which were designed by Alfred Waterhouse 160 years ago. 

We first met a fossilised stegosaurus skeleton which roamed the earth 150 million years ago – Mrs Hills-Matthews told us an almost unbelievable fact that the T-rex and stegosaurus never met! And, as T-rex didn’t evolve until the very end of the Cretaceous Period, and the stegosaurus died out about 85 million years before that, the T-rex lived closer in time to the invention of the first iPhone than to the stegosaurus!  

We went through some amazing corridors lined with birds, animals and fossils from around the world and from all different time periods until we reached the Restless Earth exhibitions. The detailed, interactive films and engaging, hands-on things for us to try were incredibly helpful in bringing all we had learned in Science and Global to life – all the layers of the earth, the fault lines, the earthquakes and volcanoes were explained and how we as humans cope with these – from early warning systems, to cutting-edge structural designs and emergency medicine relief missions. 

The most imposing revelation for us was the 1990 Kobe, Japan earthquake simulator though. This was in the setting of a supermarket and featured actual footage shot from inside a grocery shop as the earthquake occurred. To feel the building shake, sense the floor going from side to side and hearing the items on the shelves wobble really brought it to life. 

After a lovely lunch in the school’s break room, we headed back to the museum to take part in an interactive live presentation where we all became ‘certified earth scientists’. We learned about how heat proof suits, seismographs and oscilloscope readings all help the scientists to learn more about earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Several of us helped volunteer – including jumping up and down to cause a mini-earthquake reading on the seismograph and using hot wax poured down a model volcano slope to show how ‘runny lava’ behaves. We also manged to save the townspeople living by a volcano to get to safety and rescued our heat-proof suited and booted Barbie! 

The last part of the day was spent on a free-choice of the exhibition to visit – 4C went back in time to the age of the dinosaurs to meet everyone’s favourite terror the T-rex; and 4K went to the modern day mini-beasts where they were greeted with mites, mosquitoes, millipedes, fleas, flies and spiders hiding in all manner of places including kitchen bins and sinks! 

It was a fantastic day out and all of the teachers praised how engaged Year 4 were and how they made the most out of every moment. It was an absolute pleasure to be with them in such beautiful surroundings. 

Mrs Hills-Matthews 

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