On a snowy Thursday evening in Centretown, Algonquin College students wandered the halls of the Canadian Museum of Nature.
AC Hub’s Night at the Museum field trip created the opportunity for students to see up close the natural wonders of Canada’s past. Thirty students packed into a school bus that sent them to the museum and back.
Samantha Therrien, the event programmer at AC Hub and organizer of Night at the Museum, said the event gives students an opportunity to have some fun.
“We wanted to get back into going off of campus, exploring the city, doing fun activities that students might not otherwise have the budget to do,” said Therrien. “A lot of our students are new to Ottawa and they’re just not familiar with the city, so we would love to provide opportunities for them to be able to get out and do fun things with a group of people they feel comfortable with.”
For some students, this was their first time visiting the museum. Dinosaur skeletons, aquatic life and nature dioramas with bison, moose and grizzly bears were just a few of the exhibits students saw.
Jason Kaushalya, 23, a Level 1 interactive media design student, said he really enjoyed the experience.
“I’m new to Canada, so it’s pretty amazing,” he said. “It’s like going back to the old ages. It’s crazy, man. It’s crazy.”
Tanay Shah, 24, a Level 2 project management student, said he was inspired to visit after hearing about Ottawa’s various museums.
“For me, after reaching Canada, I’ve heard so much about museums,” said Shah. “All because of Instagram of Algonquin College, we got to know about taking students to somewhere like this and I was so excited about it. I heard about it on every page of Google that it’s a very famous thing and I guess I am very thankful for Algonquin College for taking us here.”
The museum’s exhibits are filled with hyper-realistic portrayals of Canada’s wildlife. Some exhibits featured interactive video elements where students built volcanoes and watched minerals grow.
Pragya Parmar, 23, a Level 2 strategic global business management student, was in awe over the museum’s displays.
“This is beautiful,” Parmar said. “It’s like every image or section that you see, all the animals are so realistic. I almost felt like after the glass it’s that place because it’s so real. It’s beautiful.”
Therrien said students should expect more out-of-campus events like this in the future.
“We try to do one every month,” she said. “Next month, we are going to an indigenous farm, in partnership with the Mamidosewin Centre. We haven’t started putting that out on our social media yet, but it’s going to be coming out very soon.”