World exclusive T. rex exhibition releases its first school programme

The first real Tyrannosaurus rex to be exhibited in England for over 100 years will arrive in the UK this summer with the launch of the Titus: T. rex is King exhibition… and Wollaton Hall has released its new school programme for this academic year, which gives students the chance to explore the T. rex skeleton through an exclusive schools programme.

The skeleton of Titus, discovered in the Montana Badlands in the USA in 2018, will be revealed for the first time at Wollaton Hall Natural History Museum in Nottingham on Sunday 4th July 2021, the focus of a new exhibition set to explore his life and environment.

Taking over the first floor, with four galleries equivalent to 4,000 square feet, the exhibition, Titus: T. rex is King, is designed around the T. rex himself and offers students of all ages the chance to experience the sheer size and scale of the skeleton.

Alongside coming face-to-face with the T. rex skeleton, students will be able to explore the digital and interactive virtual media displays immersing them in his extraordinary journey from discovery in the USA, through the experience of excavation, curation, examination, rebuild and final reveal.

Students and teachers will be able to enjoy the exhibition independently from the public during the 10-11am school exhibition slot, as well as attend other time slots alongside the general public, and book exclusive facilitated school sessions with an information pack.

The initial facilitated sessions available include:

  • Mary Anning & Her Fossils, exploring the world of the amazing Victorian fossil hunter with access to the museum’s fossil handling collections
  • Darwin in Colour and Darwin & You exploring the controversial evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin with real specimens of colourful insects, birds and mammals, real skulls and skeletons and replica hominid skulls
  • Be a Palaeo Artist, using science to create unique dinosaur artworks
  • Bones, identifying and investigating skeletons of creatures, and learning about the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Sue Mallender, Learning Programmes Science Officer, Nottingham City Museums, said: “The launch of the Titus: T. rex is King exhibition will be an extraordinary educational experience for all, where they can enjoy the unique journey of Titus, discovering all there is to know about this notorious dinosaur.

“The exhibition makes the perfect school trip – the opportunity to meet Titus himself and get involved with various assisted activities, then explore the king of dinosaurs in many interactive experiences including creating your own digital version of Titus and taking selfies with a T. rex head. It is truly an amazing experience and an absolute must-see.”

Internationally renowned palaeontologist Dr David Hone, the Senior Lecturer in Zoology at Queen Mary, University of London in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, is part of the exhibition development team tasked with bringing Titus to life. He said: “Students will be able to explore the world of Titus and take a closer look at his particular features – his crushing bite, incredible eyesight and keen sense of smell, air-filled bones, weight, size and speed. And then look more closely at his make-up of muscle and tissue, with 3D scans of his bones to examine and handle – and try to decide if in fact he was covered in scales or feathers or both.”

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Eunice Campbell-Clark, said: “We are thrilled that the exhibition Titus: T. rex is King enables teachers to offer a real life experience to students through the display of the T. rex skeleton, and that students will be able to discover and explore Natural History, evolution & the environment.

“It will be a unique experience to witness the skeleton of a T. rex and to delve into the world of Titus, and it is wonderful that is being exclusively released at Wollaton Hall.”

Wollaton Hall has an international reputation for attracting rare and previously unseen dinosaur exhibits to the UK. In 2017, it staged the hugely successful Dinosaurs of China exhibition with a selection of fossils and skeletons from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology in Beijing and the Long Hao Institute of Geology and Palaeontology Inner Mongolia that had never been seen outside Asia before.

The 10–11am schools exhibition slot can be arranged with the learning and education team, and allows one free staff place for each set of ten pupils booked for the exhibition. Other time slots throughout the day can be booked by teachers for student trips, though they may include the general public. The facilitated sessions cost an additional £5 per child. For more information and to arrange a schools trip, visit the website at www.wollatonhall.org.uk/titus/learning-education/.

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