Walking With Dinosaurs

The Super Good Days have been turning up at a most amazing rate recently. Today was another splendid example: a trip to The Deep, courtesy of Create Maths, with a small group of Y9 students to take part in a maths event.

We followed a maths trail around The Deep in which we looked for symmetry, drew a Fibonacci spiral, watched a 3D movie with some amazing footage of sharks and discovered why the glass for the tanks was so thick.

Oh, and we found Nemo. After making numerous poor jokes about our alleged quest to find him, I spotted an actual clownfish in one of the tanks. W00t!

“Wow, look! I’ve found Nemo!” I cried, engaging wild excitement mode.

“We’ve seen him,” replied my students, in that special voice that they reserve for the occasions when I am being particularly underwhelming. Apparently these kids aren’t that easily impressed.

We also took part in a couple of workshops, one of which was led by a paleontologist who taught us to analyse fossilised dinosaur tracks. It was brilliant – and I made sure I told her so, before asking for copies of her rather splendid resources to take back to school. The students measured their own foot lengths and hip heights, deduced the connection and then applied this to the trails of dinosaur footprints on the floor. By the end of the session they were walking, trotting and running with dinosaurs.

The students may not have been impressed by my attempts at Nemo related jokes, but they had a great day. Students asking when we can go back and do something again is always a sure sign that things have gone well.

The event organiser got all the students to shout out a message that he will play in a meeting with one of Create Maths major sponsors next week. We were happy to oblige, this is our school’s third (but my first) day out with Create Maths; I know that all three days have been big hits with the students.

Even the bus ride home was fun. We were all given a toy shark, with which we drove each other mad. The kids re-enacted scenes from Jaws and even (with the aid of a plastic squid) the shark feeding frenzy from the 3D movie that we had watched earlier.

I love days like this.

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