WILMINGTON — Students in Wilmington High School’s Animal and College Preparatory Biology classes recently traveled to Chicago to visit the Field Museum of Natural History, where they celebrated Earth Day 2016 and gained a sense of the size and scope of life on the planet earth.
The one-day event also exposed students to some of the unique ways people are getting involved with conservation on local levels worldwide and revealed to students how important it is to consider how their own and other cultures are formed.
According to science teacher Joseph Gigandet, who has visited the museum on three occasions, the Field Museum is the most impressive he’s ever experienced in regards to life science from the Cambrian explosion, to dinosaurs, mammoths, and modern life.
Wilmington senior Isabelle Thomas caught herself standing in front of an exhibit of a skeleton for almost 10 minutes just staring. “To see the life that was once lived thousands of years before us was truly amazing and breathtaking,” said Thomas.
The permanent Evolving World exhibit takes museum goers on a journey from the beginning of the planet, through the Cambrian explosion, the dinosaurs, and how life changes all the way through today.
For senior McKinley Law, seeing the enormous African elephants as she walked in was exciting as was the restoring the earth exhibit.
The museum also has an extensive fossil and taxidermy collection and exhibits that focus on human culture, conservation, and DNA research.
To prepare for the trip, students conducted research on animal species, a cousin species, and a shared common ancestor.
Inspired by the museum exhibits and empowered with new knowledge, students returned to the classroom where they extended their learning by researching effective conservation and how it is conducted.
Although the trip was student funded, students greatly appreciated the opportunity and the support shown by the WCS Board of Education, Superintendent Ron Sexton, High School Principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart, high school secretary Denise Warren and accounts payable Jeanette Peters who worked behind the scenes to help organize the event, and chaperoning teachers Jessica Shelton, Justin Tomlin, Adam Shultz and Julie Krabacher.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.