Take your class back in time with Dinosaurs in the Wild

With Dinosaurs in the Wild, teachers will be able to take school groups of 7-11 year olds somewhere they’ve never been before – 67 million years back in time, to the late Cretaceous period! Specially designed to ignite pupils’ imaginations, it will put school groups face-to-face with living dinosaurs and bring science to life before their eyes.

The creators behind new immersive live-action adventure Dinosaurs in the Wild gave me a sneak preview of the extraordinary sets and special effects that will officially open to the public in June. The sets were still in their final phases of development, but the signs are that this is going to be very impressive! The exhibition consists of a mix of animatronic models, virtual reality, film screens and actors, combined to create a very immersive experience.

I was able to walk around a dinosaur pathology lab, and see inside one of the dinosaurs, a Pachycephalosaurus, which was undergoing an  autopsy. This was a life-size animatronic model, and it looked amazing! There was also a giant, beating dinosaur heart, which you can see on the left of the photo below.

This new immersive and interactive experience allows teachers to give 7-11 year-olds a unique experience, travelling back 67 million years to see living dinosaurs. Brought to you by producers behind the hit TV series and arena show Walking with Dinosaurs, the show will ignite pupils’ imaginations and bring science to life before their eyes.

You and your class will be transported to TimeBase 67, a research station set in the late Cretaceous Period, to see scientists at work as they study dinosaurs. Using cutting-edge effects, the 70-minute adventure allows pupils to ask questions as they explore their surroundings, including laboratories in which they’ll see a hatchery, young dinosaurs and an autopsy. The experience culminates with a 360-degree view of these majestic creatures in their natural environment.

The creators also revealed details about what school groups can expect from the experience:

  • There is a dazzling array of over two thousand vials and jars of amazing items, like dinosaur tissue samples, eyeballs, brains, teeth and claws of the creatures that lived at that time.
  • The heart of a huge Alamosaurus in a glass cylinder, where visitors can see how much energy it took to drive blood up the five-metre long neck of the giraffe-like giant.
  • They can also get their hands into piles of dinosaur poo to discover the difference between carnivore and herbivore droppings, before examining prehistoric parasites and dinosaur skin under the microscope.
  • Using virtual reality, pupils can find out what it was like to see through a dinosaur’s eyes.
  • Pupils will also see scientists conducting a live autopsy on a five-metre long crested Pachycephalosaurus. The animal is suspended across an operating table lit by surgical lights, so that visitors will be able to make out details, such as the cross-section of its impressively large skull.
  • In addition, they will see a specimen of the very first human ancestor – a tiny squirrel-like creature called Purgatorius, which lived in trees in the Late Cretaceous.
  • Further jaw-dropping key sets in the experience include the Hatchery, in which three incubators hold different species of dinosaur eggs. As well as discovering a host of fascinating information about the variety of egg shapes, growth stages and the laying patterns of these prehistoric animals, visitors will see baby Triceratops squirming inside their shells, eggs communicating with each other and some deceptively cute Dakotaraptor

To support teachers before and after this unique experience, Dinosaurs in the Wild will also provide new curriculum-linked resources for English and Science lessons. All school bookings will receive a password that enables access to the full resource set. Teachers can access a free preview of these exciting activities by visiting www.dinosaursinthewild.com/education

Dinosaurs in the Wild premières at the NEC in Birmingham in June this year, before moving to Manchester’s EventCity in the Autumn and then coming to London in 2018.

The level of detail and thought that has gone into the development of Dinosaurs in the Wild is impressive. Seeing a ‘real’ dinosaur, how it moves and feels, will be an incredible experience for any young person.

Having all of the senses stimulated by the sights and sounds of the interactive exhibits will create an excellent environment for experiential learning. It will be something that pupils are really going to remember, and teachers can follow up on that experience when they’re back in the classroom.

I had a blast seeing just a fraction of the exhibition, even in a very incomplete state. The quality and detail in the models and animatronics is very impressive. I can’t wait to see what the finished exhibition looks like. It will definitely be the ultimate school field trip!

For more information, and details about educational group bookings, visit www.dinosaursinthewild.com/education

Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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