Day 5: National Geographic Summit Trip

23 Mar

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!

4 Responses

  1. Ryuichi Ishikawa says:

    It’s not surprising that many of the students bothered to wake up early for the shopping trip. I’m more surprised to know the stores are open that early!
    Would have liked to see more photos of the day’s activities. No photos taken at restaurants?
    Sounds like the group has returned to the original schedule, but I hear that the visit to the Embassy was cancelled…

  2. admin says:

    I agree. I thought it was unusual that the stores were open that early, too, and I grew up in the States. It was 12:45am when I was posting the story, so I feel asleep before I posted the photos. There is a link to them now at the end of the post. Also, I don’t take any photos of the restaurants because I am starving by the time we eat, and I am more focused on eating than photos. Yes, the embassy visit was canceled because they are spending all of their time helping with relief efforts in Japan.

  3. Jill Fukae says:

    I am loving all the photos and information you are sharing everyday. This is way more information than any other school event the kids go on. Keep up the good work and keep having loads of fun to share with us!

  4. Ryuichi Ishikawa says:

    Thanks for lots of photos! Every photo tells a story, doesn’t it?
    I understand that you are starving by the time you get to restaurants. I’m just curious because the itinerary says all the restaurants’ names, instead of just saying “Lunch,” “Dinner,” etc.
    Looking forward to your post on Day 6!

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