It has been a really busy week for Secondary and Post 16 groups at the Museum. On Monday we hosted our very first A-level Study Day on Darwin’s Legacy, and despite the snow, the turnout was brilliant and the day was a huge success.
This date was especially fitting since it is Charles Darwin’s birthday on 12 February. On Sunday evening I happened to watch Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life on BBC1. I was impressed that many of the attendees had tuned in to this programme as well- which prepared them a little bit for what to expect on the day.
Henry McGhie and Phil Manning kicked off the day with two lectures on Darwin, evolution and current research. Phil especially wowed the students with his work on Archaeopteryx– he also generated a few laughs with clips from Jurassic Park and discussions around locomotion.
In the afternoon, the students participated in two hands on activities- one explored the process of natural selection (which was pretty fun and had a competitive edge!) and the other looked at form and function in vertebrates- a ‘humerus’ approach to evolution. Overall I think the students had a really good day, and we received some great feedback.
“The talk covered areas of science that I’ve never covered before and because it was presented in a coherent, details and fun manner it caught my attention”
“I liked seeing how animals have evolved (ie) the evidence. It was a new topic for me- fascinating!”
“ I loved the palaeontology talk and it gave me a better understanding in techniques of what palaeontology involves”
“I learned how evolution worked in a very clear way which I have never heard before.”
It was awesome to get some really nice complements and I am sure the next Darwin Day we run will be just as successful.