Dinosaurs in the Wild: an out-of-this-world school trip

Lucinda Reid talks to Tim Haines, Creative Director of Dinosaurs in the Wild, about why his latest project is a must-visit for schools this summer

Dinosaurs in the Wild is a 70-minute adventure that promises to take visitors 67 million years back in time so that they can come face-to-face with dinosaurs. This exhilarating experience, created by the team behind the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs, pushes the boundaries as it combines live sets with cutting-edge computer-generated imagery.

This live show will be roaring into the NEC, Birmingham between 24th June and 25th August 2017, and it invites schools from across the UK to get involved. Before schools are allowed into the wild, we spoke to Tim Haines, Creative Director of Dinosaurs in the Wild, to find out more.

How would you describe Dinosaurs in the Wild?

I would describe Dinosaurs in the Wild as an immersive escape, as visitors will travel in a time machine to a period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. We present dinosaurs in the most realistic way possible so it isn’t just a series of large statues. This is more like a safari where you are brought into their presence.

Where did this idea stem from?

With Dinosaurs in the Wild we wanted to make it as accurate as possible, and that was the driving thought behind the whole thing. This experience is as accurate as we can be, so as a consequence the dinosaurs will look completely different from anything you have seen. The imagery of these creatures has changed enormously over the last 20 years, as there has been many revolutions in our understanding of dinosaurs.

Why do you think young people engage with dinosaurs?

What’s so beautiful about dinosaurs is that they are real. When you are learning about them, you are also learning about the history of the earth and evolution. I think dinosaurs can be a wonderful way to teach topics that might be a bit dry and dusty, but through the lens of these exciting, monstrous things, subjects like evolution can be more interesting.

Why should schools book a trip to Dinosaurs in the Wild?

There are two reasons why a teacher might bring a class to Dinosaurs in the Wild. Firstly, they want their class to learn about dinosaurs from a trusted source and secondly, they might want their class to focus on something for their own educational purposes. For example, by pupils visiting Dinosaurs in the Wild this can be used as a tool to inspire them to write or to create a project.

How does Dinosaurs in the Wild support teachers?

We have worked with educationalists to produce curriculum-linked resources, which have been designed to support lessons before and after the experience. There is a large amount of information for children to see and understand, so teachers can use this to suit their needs.

What do you like best about Dinosaurs in the Wild?

I think it is the novel stuff. For example, when you stand in front of the window and you can see these creatures in their raw size, that is something that no one has seen before.

For more information about Dinosaurs in the Wild, visit their website.