On March 23, 2017, the students of St. Peter Academy in grades 2-8 gathered in the main lobby of the school anxiously waiting to start the long awaited overnight field trip to the Museum of Science. As we arrived to the Museum of Science you could feel the energy rise as the students became even more ecstatic knowing what was behind the doors of the museum. The science museum offered the students the opportunity to experiment and explore the various exhibits along with the many planned activities.
The students began their exploration in the Mugar Theater with a presentation done by one of the instructors on how forces create motion and with a hands-on engineering activity. The instructor captivated the students’ attention with her different simple machine activities that showed the students Newton’s Law of motion. The students went wild when the first demonstration crashed and did not go as she had planned. However, the anticipation and enthusiasm of what was in stock for the rest of the night was mounting as the students left the theater.
The students transitioned to the next activity which was to build a bridge. There the students listened to the presenter talk to them about the structure of bridges and the process of building bridges. Through a hands-on activity, the students in small groups built their own bridges out of newspapers and tape. Once they finished the students were able to test the strength or weakness of their newly constructed bridge. To the surprise of many of the students their bridges weren’t strong enough to hold the container while many were too scared to even try.
SPA students split up into groups with their chaperones to explore the expansive museum before the lightning show. In the live animal presentation students observed three animals. They listened to the presenter lecture about the animals’ adaptations, behaviors, the environment in which they live, and foods they eat. The students were able to ask insightful questions about the animals. They were able to come closer to view the animals as the conversation continued.
There were countless exhibits for the students to explore and get excited about. The one exhibit that captivated many of the students was the exhibition that demonstrated how the brain and nerve endings work together when humans feel pressure and pain. On a bed of nails, each nail point has such low pressure on the skin that few nerve signals go to the brain and no pain is felt. The students laid on the flat board and slowly a bed of nails rises from small holes in the board. The students is lifted up. At first the bed of nails feels funny, but it is not painful. The exhibit was very useful in conveying how brain and nerve endings work because the students experience feeling no pain from a bed of nails.
The students witnessed the power of lightning at a close range and how to avoid being struck by lightning. The bright blue flashes of light filled the room shooting from one sphere to another with loud popping sounds as the demonstration began. The students got a lesson on electricity, its purpose, as well as how and why the generator works to generate currents.
All in all, even though the focus was the educational learning aspect the students left the museum with stories they could share. They have countless stories about the Imax movie about animal migrations, the planetarium show, building bridges, the live animal show, different exhibitions, the lightning show and the highlight for many students the dippin’ dots ice- cream. It was an overnight adventure where the students learned about engineering, motion, biological evolution, and so much more. The students left feeling a sense of joy from the wonderful learning experience they shared with their fellow classmates, teachers and parents.
Meet the exemplary teaching staff of St. Peter Academy at their Spring Open House on Wednesday May 3 from 9:00-11:30 am and 3:00-6:00pm. Can’t make the open house but want to learn more – Private tours are available upon request.
St Peter Academy, an independent community based private school, is South Boston’s only Toddler through Grade 8 School. It is privately funded, enriched with extended learning hours and summer programs, and fosters a nurturing, safe and individualized environment. The student/teacher ratio is 6:1 which is ideal for creating exemplary instructional models filled with interactive learning opportunities. The school is located at 371 West Fourth Street and is currently accepting applications for the year round toddler program for students 15 months and above and 2017 school year for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 – To learn more about the school and all programs visit www.stpeteracademy.com or schedule a private tour by contacting Ms. Doreen Brown or Ms Maria Blasi at 617-268-0750 or email SPA@StPeterAcademy.com.