A visit to the Stardome

This term we have been learning about Space.  We are very excited to be planning a trip to the Stardome in Auckland.  We will be preparing the children for the trip, by showing them photos of what they will see and talking about the film we will watch in the Planetarium.  We will be learning about how rockets work with a practical demonstration and perhaps some safe hands-on learning too.

Before trips we like to do lots of work around the rules for the trip, helping children to understand how they can keep themselves safe.  We will be showing them videos at mat time of what they can expect to experience while they are there, this helps them to think about questions they may have that they would like to ask.  We might do some basic written work with some of the older children, as well as some observational drawings of telescopes, planets, rockets etc.

During the trip the children will have an interactive investigative exercise to do with their parents as they walk around the Space Gallery and will be able to look at all sorts of interesting exhibits. We will have a chance to see the telescopes, but of course with this being a day time trip, we will not be able to look into outer space during our visit.  Perhaps some parents would like to take their children to one of the night time events to experience this properly.

Learning from excursions is maximized in the following ways, through good preparation for the trip, and work afterwards:

  • Joint decision making between children and adults
  • Co-constructing understanding together – often teachers learn alongside the children
  • A variety of open-ended resources are readily available and accessible
  • Children can choose their level of involvement
  • Children have un-interrupted time to complete projects – in this topic, it has been lots of construction work
  • Resources invite exploration and collaboration
  • Teachers recognise learning opportunities.

This has been a more difficult topic to cover through hands on experiences. We have seen lots of imaginative play happening, particularly around the space station and rocket ship we have set up in the corner of the kindy.  Children have accessed books and laminated pictures based around the them of Space and have shared books and artefacts from home.  A visit from a parent to talk about how rockets are powered was enjoyed by the children who asked lots of questions.