Visit to the National Marine Aquarium

Visit to the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

On Friday, Years 5,6 and 7 journeyed to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth as the climax to Science Week. Once we arrived, we were greeted by Mark who, with the help of his assistant Ollie, led a workshop where the children used a refractometer to measure the salinity of sea water.

water

They then used a pipette and some rock salt to try and increase the level of salt in the water samples. This helped the children understand why seawater is salty. We also discovered that the water we had in our bottles has been around for millions of years, thanks to the water cycle, and that it might well have been passed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex at some previous point in time.
After that we toured the Aquarium, spotting sharks, turtles, tuna, anemone, starfish, crabs, lobsters and all manner of other marine creatures. Even for those who had been before it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip around the many tanks of sea dwelling life forms.
Then we had another workshop where the children experimented with mixing Hydrogen and Oxygen, attempting to create ‘quite big bangs’.
We had our packed lunch, including our bottles of possible T-Rex wee wee, and then enjoyed another workshop where, among other things, Mark explained how global warming and the melting of the ice caps was affecting wildlife such as Polar Bears. This was a particularly lively workshop, full of exploding balloons.
After a thoroughly enjoyable day, the children jumped back on the bus for the return journey to school. I think the staff at the NMA were impressed with the behaviour, interest and knowledge shown by our pupils, who gained a great deal from the trip.
 
Mr Caddy, Madam Fergus, Mr Main.


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