At 6:30 a.m., on Wednesday 16th June, 81 students from T1, T4 and T5, their teachers and a few brave parents embarked on a day trip to the Western Australian Museum in Perth to visit the “A Day In Pompeii” exhibition. Their inquiry topic for Term 2 has been Natural Disasters and the trip provided valuable input for the students and a chance to view and explore the history of the world’s first recorded natural disaster.
We took a bus to Mandurah and then boarded a train for Perth. A few students resembled well seasoned travellers, breaking out the books to read for the trip. Others were a little less experienced (for many it was their maiden train trip) and had noses glued to the windows for the duration of the ride.
Once at the museum we were treated to a 3D movie portraying the eruption of Mt Vesuvius on the 24th August 79AD and ‘witnessed’ how the city of Pompeii was buried beneath metres of volcanic ash and debris over the following 48 hours. And yes, we did try to ‘catch’ the debris seemingly ‘flying past’ our collective noses.
From the movie theatre it was into the exhibition hall where a vast array of artefacts were on display, depicting many of the aspects of life of the people of Pompeii. They ranged from portable stoves, crockery, foods eaten, medical kits (including an ear drill), gladiator shields and helmets, statues, frescoes, intricate figurines, gold jewellery, coins, couches, to plaster casts of victims of the disaster.
After a quick tour of the rest of the museum: roaring dinosaurs, life-size bisons, real meteorites from space, the mega-mouth shark and the activity centre with dozens of drawers to open; it was back on the train (no reading this time but quite a few dozing off) and on to the buses for the trip home.
Many thanks go to our bus drivers for donating their wages to our excursion, the parents who came with us for the day and to all parents for getting up that hour (or two?) earlier to bring their children to school and coming back two hours after school to pick them up again.
By Liz Angell with Gary Gibbon