An eye-opening and ground-shaking day was had by all Year 4s at London’s Natural History Museum on Thursday. Our day started with a journey that carried us up through a gigantic metal globe that enabled us to imagine we were travelling through the very centre of the earth itself. When we reached the Volcanoes and Earthquake exhibit we were given the chance, through hands on learning experiences, to examine real volcanic rock, explore how the different tectonic plates move and find out more about the dangerous job of a volcanologist. The moment we had all been looking forward to came when we entered the Kobe Supermarket earthquake simulator. With screens showing us real live captured footage of the Kobe earthquake in 1996 and the supermarket produce rattling on the shelves around us, we were able to feel and experience the shock of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake. ‘I enjoyed the earthquake simulator as it was so realistic. It felt like I really was in an earthquake!’ Eleanor.
The ‘Earth’s treasury’ section drew gasps of awe from all as we examined the array of colourful minerals, gems and rocks on display. We were particularly impressed when we spotted some very special fluorescent minerals that were able to glow in the dark. We were also amazed to discover a mineral that was the real life Kryptonite! ‘There were lots of beautiful jewels, minerals and even diamonds’ Charlie B.
In the fossil exhibition the children were able to handle real samples from the Museum’s collection: for example, a 250 million year old trilobite fossil and even an Ichthyosaur’s tooth. ‘I liked looking at fossils because I got to hold one (an ammonite) that was 400 million years old!’ Stanley.
Before it was time to leave, there was just enough time to visit the dinosaur exhibition and say a farewell to ‘Dippy’ the Diplodochus that has stood in the main hall for the last 35 years.