LEAP and Wise Guys Club Members Visit the Zoo and Cyclorama!
Twenty-one 4th and 5th grade LEAP and Wise Guys students from Sally D. Meadows School accompanied by eleven adults spent the night at Zoo Atlanta on April 26th and 27th to learn about zoo careers and animal habitats. Upon arrival at the zoo around six in the evening, the group was taken on a tour of part of the zoo. SDM students had the zoo all to themselves and were amazed at how quiet the zoo was after dark. Students were shown where the veterinarians doctor the animals and where the zoo food is stored. At dark students were given night scopes to view some of the nocturnal animals in their habitats. One of the highlights of the trip was viewing the reptile house in the dark! Mr. Carvel, a zoo guide, laughed when a student implied that a zookeeper makes lots of money. He replied, "You don't make much money shoveling poop, caring for animals, and spending four years in college majoring in biology and zoology. You have to love the job!"
After a breakfast of cereal, bagels, and yogurt, the group walked over to the Cyclorama which is located in Grant Park next to Zoo Atlanta. Students were treated to a video of the Siege of Atlanta, then they walked into a round soundproof room where they sat in seats that rotated around a huge 1883 painting that depicts the Battle of Atlanta, a strategic Civil War battle that foreshadowed Sherman's "march" through Georgia. Students learned that there are only three Cycloramas in the entire country and Atlanta's is the largest. One of the students exclaimed, "I can't believe how real this painting looks. The 3-D effects of the diorama combined with the painting make it so lifelike!"
At the end of trip, everyone was exhausted but agreed that they had enjoyed a unique opportunity. Some even thought that they belonged in the zoo!
By Tyler P. and Camden H. from Mrs. Sweat's 4th Grade LEAP Class