Sleeping with Sharks

November 20, 2019 at 11:35 AM

Our Year 4 Girls’ School students embarked on an adventure to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium last week, as part of their Social Science studies. 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!

The stay focused on the two main themes - the preservation of animals at risk in our oceans and the exploration and challenges of life in Antarctica.

On arrival, endless questions were asked as tales were told and the girls were given a glimpse into what it would be like to be a scientist living in the Antarctic and the valuable research they do as part of a global understanding of the health of planet earth. The students were shocked to discover the Antarctic can reach -90 degrees and that humans must stay inside if it is lower than -50 degrees, and that the winds can reach around 300kmh.

Following their discussion on all things Antarctic, the girls explored the aquarium where they were able to see the penguins up close, feed the fish and colour in fish that once scanned, became part of a large animated art display. After supper, the girls got ready for bed and made their way to the shark tank where they slept for the night. Tucked down in bed, the girls watched as the creatures swam overhead – after an evening of excitement, a most relaxing way to fall asleep!

Throughout the year, the girls had looked closely at global warming and pollution, and how this effects sea levels, earth and our animals. They also investigated life in Antarctic and researched how animals adapt to the cold, as well as the properties of ice and how the windy, desert like climate of the frozen continent of Antarctica posed unique challenges for early explorers.

Staying overnight at Kelly Tarlton’s put their classroom learnings into an authentic context. The girls saw how Kelly Tarlton’s works to save animals and how they are looking after endangered turtles. They were also able to walk through Captain Scott’s hut and reflect on the challenges he faced.

The girls had a fantastic time and we thank the staff and parents who assisted overnight to make this learning encounter possible.

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