Most fun study day – EVER!


Image, Introducing the day

Alright, so I’m biased: but the Darwin and Humanity day on Tuesday 13th October with Holy Cross College was the most fun I’ve ever had on a study day, ever!

The day began really well – with students practically learning the difference between a ‘theory’ and a ‘scientific theory’ by applying their own minds to the challenging concept of identifying where and when broad selections of items from our collection were from. We then ‘tested’ these hypotheses using scientific questioning, and there were some surprising results! Hopefully, we will never have to admit that we believed in a killer monkey who eats only innocent and cuddly animals…However, I think we did disprove that a group of miniature humans could have lived in fossilised mammoth poo: although it was an interesting theory at the time!?


Image, Object handling in action!

Clippy Island seemed to be a huge success too – and I think it really helped to reinforce an understanding of just how Natural Selection works and how it explains Darwin’s theory of Evolution. According to the evaluations we received the majority of students went home with a better understanding of science than when they arrived and agreed their interest in science had increased! And thanks to those who suggested we make the activity into a game show and/or an Olympic Sport!

Thanks must go to Henry McGhie and Ian Fairweather for participating in the event by talking to the students during the day, and of course, for all of my colleagues who helped out: their support ensured that the day progressed without a hitch!

Finally – the biggest thank you of all has to go to the students of Holy Cross College who took part and made the day so successful! I’m really looking forward to the next cohort of students from the college who are attending on the 3rd November – I’m sure it will be just as much fun, if not more so!


Image, Students in 'Charles Darwin: evolution of a scientist'

One thought on “Most fun study day – EVER!

  1. As a teacher of A-Level Theology&Philosophy, I was attracted to the Darwin Study Day as Science&Religion is a topic we study in our course, including the problems posed to Theists by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

    So many students struggle with the concept of NS, that I knew the day would be beneficial from that aspect alone. What we got was a lot more.

    Students were encouraged to think critically, were exposed to the challenges of evolution by REAL University Scientists/Anthropologists, got the chance to participate in games, handle artefacts and question the experts, before spending time int he Darwin exhibition itself.

    The materials used were relevant, challenging and fun. The Museum staff were enthusiastic and engaging. Our students were never bored and now have a solid knowledge of Darwin’s work and its implications for modern thought. The day ran smoothly and was easy to organise with the help of the superbly organised education department.

    This Study Day would also be of use to Critical Thinking/General Studies students.


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