Talbot Heath

Upper 4 Journey to the Centre of the Earth

School Trip

Upper 4 journeyed to the centre of the earth on their visit to London on Tuesday 19th January; their mission being to visit the Earth and Darwin galleries at the Natural History Museum. It is an annual trip run by the Geography department and forms part of the Upper 4 studies of the earth’s crust and the hazards presented to humans by earthquakes and volcanic activity, linking directly to the GCSE Geography course. The Darwin galleries highlight the interconnections between Geography and Science, in particular biology. Despite the very early start Upper 4 were very excited to be visiting London. Here are some accounts:

‘When I arrived at the Natural History Museum, a magnificent and elegant building greeted our eyes. The architecture of the museum was absolutely beyond my expectations. It looked like a noble castle more than a museum.’

'We arrived at the Natural History Museum and travelled straight to the schools' meeting room, collecting our booklets from the teachers. We entered the earth galleries through the amazing entrance; an artist had sculpted the earth but it seemed to be made out of a dull metal and instead of being one round sphere it seemed to be in bits and illuminated by a red light. We travelled into the globe and then out the other side into the gallery.  Using the displays around us to gather facts and general information we worked on the questions on our booklet. All the exhibits and displays were based on earthquakes, volcanoes and what lies beneath the surface of the thin crust we live on. Some of the exhibits were extremely interesting including one which explained how white lava is linked to pink feathers! Each of us took turns in the Japanese supermarket earthquake simulator, which gave us a taste of what a real earthquake would be like. Finally we were invited to take pictures of three things which interested us the most. My first was of a meteorite which had been cut in half; my second was a protective suit which scientists wear when they research volcanoes and my last one was a huge lump of shiny obsidian.'

‘The first exhibition I visited was the geographical museum – the Earth Gallery. The best thing about the trip was the ‘supermarket’ which imitates an earthquake in Japan; it was very exciting.’

'After lunch we moved on to the scientific part of the trip: we visited the evolution section first and took pictures of the skeletons for our homework. There were screens with earphones to listen to and displays showing the evolution of humans. There was a lot of interesting facts I didn't know, such as that we share around 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees. After that was the Darwin exhibit. We took a tall, glass elevator to a room with information on plants and animals. From there we journeyed down a long, sloping corridor that lead us back down to the ground floor. Some of us talked to the staff who asked us to try to sort the insects into groups. It was really fun! We looked at all the cases and photos and I found an insect that was almost a foot long. In our last section we discovered a giant foetus, human brains and the 'Cortex Men'. After seeing a picture of them on our sheets at the start, we were all curious to know what they were. After a look in the gift shop, we made our way back to the coach.'

‘I found the biology sections about evolution and humans interesting; although the next gallery was to do with bugs and I was less keen. Ew!’

‘I found the biology sections about evolution and humans interesting; although the next gallery was to do with bugs and I was less keen. Ew!’

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