Sleeping with Sharks!

April 11, 2018 at 3:20 PM

As part of their Social Science inquiry into ‘sustainable environmental practices’, the Year 4 girls embarked on an adventure to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium last week. This was not the typical visit that visitors to Auckland enjoy – the girls arrived after the daytime crowds had gone, carrying pillows and sleeping bags ready for a sleepover with the sharks!

Their adventure began with tales about Earth’s harshest habitat, Antarctica, hearing about the life of the early explorers, Scott and Amundsen as they raced to be the first to reach the South Pole. The walk-through replica of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic hut, complete with authentic memorabilia, offered a glimpse of the grim conditions endured over 100 years ago in the coldest place on Earth. They also heard about the work of scientists on the ice today and the valuable research they do as part of a global understanding of the health of planet earth. 

After undertaking ‘the ice challenge,’ testing how long they could keep their hand submerged in sea ice, the girls tackled a ‘white out’ exhibit that challenged the senses before watching the resident penguins go about their lives, both on ice and under water. Having the exhibits to themselves was quite astonishing, allowing them unobstructed views to the vast range of sea life being cared for. They also ventured behind the scenes to appreciate the work involved in ensuring all the sea animals are suitably fed, taking part in a fish feeding encounter with some large and lively fish! 

In a quiet time following supper, the girls coloured in fish that, once scanned, became part of a large animated art display. There was much excitement as they scoured the gallery wall to spot their personalised fish swimming and darting around the seaweed! 

And so to bed! With sleeping bags at the ready, the girls could choose whether to sleep under the shark tank or the slightly less ferocious sea creature side in Kelly Tarlton’s famous fish viewing acrylic tunnels! There were definitely more lined up on the non-shark side! Tucked down in bed, the girls watched as the creatures swam overhead – after an evening of excitement, a most relaxing way to fall asleep! 

Our thanks to the staff and parents who assisted overnight to make this learning encounter possible.


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