The Real Life Classroom offers myriad opportunities for evolutionary thinking practices.
We had an amazing opportunity to participate with our trip to TMAG in Hobart. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) was featuring a revolutionary exhibition on Dinosaurs and their secrets of survival. Considering our family fascination with all things prehistoric, yes you guessed it – we just had to go!
Only a short distance from our Discovery Parks ‘Home Base’ for everything Hobart, we rocked up in our Apollo Motorhome (classroom on wheels) and found the perfect spot right outside the museum at TMAG. Too easy! TMAG opens at 10am, so arriving in plenty of time, we were able to feed-up the kids in our very convenient mobile kitchen. Everyone now had plenty of energy reserves for uninterrupted enjoyment of the long-awaited Dinosaur rEvolution!
As new scientific discoveries path the way for more accurate understanding of our ‘known’ historical and evolutionary existence, this exhibition presented with great finesse. A brilliant educational resource amalgamating the latest Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, scientific discoveries and artistic creations. Couple this with animatronics, chromakey visual technologies and practical fossil digging activities for the kids, you have yourself the ultimate pedagogic environment for everyone to experience.
TMAG exhibitions, like this one – are a sure-fire way to combine practical real life classroom teaching moments, with key learning areas required by the Australian Curriculum for your kiddos. This experience alone related to five through-lines relevant to our kids’ curricular based education.
This real life classroom lesson incorporated many topics relating to essential key learning areas: Living things, life cycles, form and function, matter and energy, systems, stability and change, patterns, order and organisation – You get the picture – very very educational, beneficial and fun!
One stand-out nugget and wow-moment worth mentioning: We learned about the very significant Psittacosaurus specimen recently unearthed in the Chinese Yi Xian deposits. Discovery of these remains has changed, questioned and improved everything we thought we knew about skin ornaments. Previously assuming the Psittacosaurus’ skin was pebbly and scaly, this specimen has revealed a detailed patch of arching, long hollow quills adorning the top half of the tail. Additionally, some parts of the skin were so well preserved, scientists have been able to reconstruct its colour patterns; being a dark head, lighter body and very light underbelly.
Keep in mind, we’re talking about a creature that lived in the Early Cretaceous, which is 123-100 million years ago. Whoah, we reckon that’s both super-fascinating and major enlightenment – well worth the mention!
What does this all mean and why is it so significant? Simply, this attributes as proof that these primitive Ornithischians, like the quilled or insulated primitive Ceratopsians – (like Psittacosaurus) – were right at the base of the evolution of Dinosauria. Who knew! Bet you can guess what our favourite word for use in a sentence was that day ??
TMAG offers an incredible array of permanent and time-limited ‘feature’ exhibitions to explore year round. You could seriously spend a week there and still feel you haven’t soaked up all there is to see and learn. Definitely a worthy attraction.
Maximum benefit can be obtained from TMAG by making it a first priority stop before sight-seeing around Hobart. That way, everywhere you visit will be more meaningful; the knowledge gained at TMAG naturally translates a greater sense of appreciation, understanding and connection to every experience you encounter in the region.
When you’re next in Hobart, why not stop in and see what we mean!
Check out the exhibition on the TMAG website here!