By Anna Wu ‘16 and Bartosz Zyskowski ‘16
Students rarely get to experience the topics they learn in class in a hands-on way. However, the AP Human Geography class got to do just that on a trip to the Museum of Natural History on December 10.
A student resident program that Midwood participates in allowed the class to go on the trip for free. Student residents are employees of the Museum of Natural History who are training to become teachers by shadowing a teacher at Midwood. These student residents are able to get tickets for the entire class and provide a whole new way of learning for the students.
“I think it’s exciting,” said Ms. Jessica Sharoff, a scientist and student resident of the AP Human Geography class. “I think it’s a different way to learn and I think people learn differently. So instead of only taking notes or only seeing things in the classroom, I think this trip is a chance to see real world examples.”
The Museum runs a lot of great programs that makes education fun and takes it out of the classroom, said Ms. Sharoff. It shows how people can do stuff that’s different and they can learn a lot and get excited from it.
Especially in a class like AP Human Geography where the curriculum ranges from such a variety of topics, the Museum can bring a different approach in learning these topics. In the classroom students learn about humans all over the world and because the world is such tremendously complex subject, the students learn about things from politics to religion to identity and so much more.
“I think the museum was a good fit for the class because of the many cultural halls they have,” said Mrs. Jesse Roehrich, the AP Human Geography teacher, “Living in a diverse city like New York City is one thing but actually seeing that diversity organized in different ways really fits with our class. There are also a lot of lab opportunities that the students will get to do and normally people have to pay 100 dollars per person and we got to do it for free.”
The students got to experience the diversity the museum has to offer as they walked through the hall of African Peoples and the hall of Asian Peoples. With displays ranging from the tools different people used to the way people dressed, it was hard to miss the dramatic changes from culture to culture.
“It gave me a better understanding of how humans migrated around the world and where they originated,” said Lauren Peters ‘16. “The trip was fun and educational. It gave me a better understanding on the class.”
The human evolution lab also provided a look into where people came from. The students were able to observe and touch skulls from different species of humans. From Australopithecus afarensis, or more commonly known as Lucy, to the current day Homo sapiens, the students got to see just how humans came to be.
“It was nice to see that even though humans are so different and diverse today, we all came from one place and one organism,” said Amanda Kwong ‘16, an AP Human Geography student.
The day ended with a visit to the museum planetarium, where everyone gathered to watch just how small big planet Earth really is.
Mrs. Roehrich smiled and said, “Most high school kids don’t get to do this stuff, so I’m excited for students to learn it and experience it.”