Today started off very early as we met outside the hotel at 6:45am. We woke up that early not to beat the crowds or see an amazing site. We woke up that early in order to go shopping at grocery and drug stores.
Katy and I ran the shopping trip as optional before today’s activities, and I thought it was possible that Katy and I would be the only ones going. However, when I came out of the hotel this morning, I encountered 16/17 of the students waiting. The kids ended up buying mostly junk food, while I loaded up on meds and cereals.
Then we got back to the hotel, we had just a few minutes to get ready and head to the Natural History Museum. Patrick told us about the Voyager mission, and how scientists really struggled to decide on what would be sent in the Voyager mission in case the aliens happened upon it. Then he explained to the students that they had to pick their favorite section(s) of the museum and pick two things to send on a Voyager-like mission. The decision needed to be consensus. In addition, they had to take a photo or draw a sketch as well. My group picked Oceans first and then Human Origins sections, and they chose some really neat things to send along.
After the Natural History Museum, we headed to the National Zoo where we met up with the wildlife photographer for the Zoo, Meghan Murphy, for the behind the scenes experience. She took us behind the reptile cages, a keeper fed the gharial (an alligator relative) and took us into the resource room where the kids touched a snake skin. We also saw the Japanese salamander, and then the kids even saw a real snake out of its cage. Then Meghan took us back to the lions and tigers, where a big cat keeper used chunks of meat to engage the animals with marginal success.
Finally, we ended our day at the National Geographic Headquarters to watch Plastiki, a movie that is a part of the Environmental Film Fest that is going on right now in DC. Learn more about Plastiki here.
We head off early tomorrow again. Our time table doesn’t easily allow skype. We hope to have the students talk their parents soon.
Here are the pictures from today!