Sixth graders explore astronomy at Museum of Natural History


Abigail Salzhauer

This past Thursday the sixth grade visited the Natural History Museum’s Rose Planetarium to enrich their knowledge of meteors and astronomy. They were able to begin touring the museum before it was open to the public, Middle Division science teacher Jodi Hill said.
In the classroom, the sixth graders currently study astronomy, Hill said. The students went to nine different exhibits relating to astronomy, where they answered questions and took pictures of what they saw, Head of the Middle Division Robin Ingram said.
The students each picked one exhibit to focus on and spent time taking pictures and notes on how that exhibit could be improved while at the museum. Once the students get back to school they will begin working on a presentation about their suggested improvements for that exhibit, Ingram said.
“Going to the museum is important because it is a way for us to learn outside the classroom while applying what we already know,” Ella Shaham (6) said. “We got to learn new things from other people’s ideas which teaches us more about astronomy,” she said.
“Learning about how big the universe is makes me curious and I would love to learn about all the planets, stars, and how things in the universe work,” Zain Latkey (6) said.
Going to the museum is exciting for the students because they get to see how astronomy concepts are presented to the public in addition to observing appealing exhibits like the photos from the moon, Ingram said. It also helps them to become critical thinkers, Ingram said.
“It is eye-opening to learn science outside of the classroom in a new environment,” Aamri Sareen (6) said. “Before embarking on these types of excursions, the concepts appear more abstract,” Sareen said.
The ability to see visuals of what the students are learning helps Sareen deepen her knowledge and understanding on the topics.
“When studying astronomy it is so wonderful to be able to go to one of the best natural history museums in the world to see their exhibits. We are lucky to be able to this. It ties into our curriculum perfectly,” Hill said.