Khandallah kids go ‘behind the scenes’ – a student’s response

On Monday, I wrote a blog about Khandallah School’s visit to our bird and insect collection. It was clear to me that the students had a wonderful time – but why not let them tell you that! This post has been written by Lara from Room 5.

Khandallah School Room 5 visiting Te Papa's Natural Sciences collection. Photographer: Scott Ogilvie © Te Papa

Khandallah School Room 5 visiting Te Papa’s Natural Sciences collection. Photographer: Scott Ogilvie © Te Papa

Last Friday I was so excited, it was like a lightning bolt. I took a high step and jumped into the car followed by Caitlin and Jenna-Lee. As soon as we had buckled up we turned on some One Direction music. We were going to Te Papa on Tory Street in town because we had won a naming competition for the rare sunfish at Te Papa. This place is not visited by many school groups. We were lucky to see inside.

At last we had arrived. We saw a big, plain white building, which had a picture of a fingerprint and it said “Te Papa”.

Te Papa's Tory St building. © Google.

Te Papa’s Tory St building. © Google.

When we arrived we had to walk up some stairs, although I really wanted to run and see what was next. Shortly afterwards we met Scott at the door.  He told us what we were going to do. We were put into four different groups and cycled through four different stations.

I really wanted to be with Sarah first and I was! She led us down some mysterious, never ending stairs. I felt as though I was led down into a dungeon.  But really they only led into a wide, blue hallway with red doors.

We went through the first set of doors. Inside were rows and rows of cupboards.  We walked to the back of the room.  There was a table with lots of different lifelike birds with their eggs next to them. First she told us how they make the birds look so lifelike. When the animal is found dead, they take its insides out (yuck) and stuff in stuffing.  Next she told us about the rock star penguin.  I learnt this: The rock star penguin lays two eggs but only keeps the bigger egg and rolls the small egg off the nest.

Researcher Sarah Jamieson and the 'rock star' rockhopper penguin. Photographer: Scott Ogilvie © Te Papa

Researcher Sarah Jamieson and the ‘rock star’ rockhopper penguin. Photographer: Scott Ogilvie © Te Papa

We also learnt lots of facts about insects from Ricardo, birds from Susan and spiders from Phil. I was surprised to learn there are more beetles than any other insect. Susan said “birds with webbed feet walk through mud and it stops them from sinking”. I also liked learning about the fur cloud that comes out from the tarantula to stop predators.

Curator Susan Waugh tells the students from Khandallah School Room 5 all about sea birds. Photographer: Scott Ogilvie © Te Papa

Curator Susan Waugh tells the students from Khandallah School Room 5 all about some of the birds in the collection. Photographer: Scott Ogilvie © Te Papa

The scientists were very kind to give up their time to show us some of their collection.  I feel happy that I have been to a building that not many school groups usually get to see.

By Lara 

 

Lara clearly has a gift for writing and story-telling and has written a marvelous recount of her visit. Thanks Lara!

The public can visit these areas as part of guided tours that can be booked via Te Papa visitor services. Researchers use the collections routinely to investigate the characteristics of species via the collection specimens.

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