“We are very happy that the school has arranged us to visit a nature museum on this field trip. This has allowed those of us living in the reinforced concrete world to learn about nature’s secrets and unique stories behind each creature, and travel through time and space to ‘talk’ with our ancestors,” said 6th graders Kefang and Stella excitedly when sharing their feelings of this field trip.
KWA has attached great importance to science education and always emphasizes the important role of learning natural science for developing students’ intelligence and training students’ logical thinking. Led by the Science Group teachers, KWA secondary school students visited the Beijing Museum of Natural History (BMNH) and the Geological Museum of China (GMC) on April 17 and 18. The trip was very rewarding and enabled the students to enjoy the wonder of natural sciences.
1. BMNH experience day
The visit to BMNH was divided into two parts. In the morning, the students, under the guidance of an instructor of the museum, visited the Ancient Reptile Hall and the Magical Africa Pavilion. The rigorous and interesting commentary of the instructor allowed the students to have a better understanding of the evolutionary history of dinosaurs, the eating habits of cheetahs, the gregarious life of lions, and the body structure of giraffes, zebras, and rhinos.
In the afternoon, the students were free to arrange their time. Some chose to see things in which they were interested, some chose to visit other exhibition halls to expand their knowledge, and still some gathered together to discuss what they had learned.
Eighth grader Michael wrote, “After the field trip, I wonder about whether the dinosaurs faded away at all. It’s as interesting as the Bermuda Triangle Myth, or even more. It is a natural occurrence, so it would be mandatory to know whether and when this situation could happen to human beings.”
2. GMC experience day
Led by the Science Group teachers, senior KWA students came to GMC. They visited the Earth Hall, the Mineral Rock Hall, and the Prehistoric Creatures Hall. By exploring various types of fossils, gems, and human skeleton models, the students learned more about the mysteries of the composition of chemical elements in matters. The rocks with different textures and gems of gorgeous colors displayed at the Mineral Rock Hall on the second floor greatly interested the students. They discussed with the accompanying teacher Michael the reason for the formation of a gem’s color, and asked the instructor about the principles behind the change of rock texture and structure. They recorded whatever thoughts they had on the trip.
As the visit coincided with the museum’s 100th anniversary, the students were lucky to learn, at the hall that displays GMC’s development process during the century, about the museum’s history and the outstanding contributions that several generations of Chinese people have made to the development of China’s geological causes and the improvement of scientific quality of the Chinese people after overcoming countless difficulties and obstacles.
“This is my first visit to the Geological Museum of China. I didn’t expect that there are actually so many wonderful things about these little rocks. It has really given us a glimpse of the wonder of geological science,” said 10th grader Helen after the visit.
Every year, the various KWA subject groups arrange several field trips for students. Through these extra-curricular activities, the students get to deepen their understanding of subject knowledge and become more motivated to learn and explore, while the teachers get to accumulate a wealth of teaching materials in the process. These trips have also provided a good opportunity for integrating the interdisciplinary teaching that STEAM advocates.
April of this semester will be filled with wonderful activities. Next, the Chinese Group’s inter-school debate competition and the Sports Group’s sports meeting will bring more happy surprises. Stay tuned!