This term Moama Anglican Grammar School students have had a visitor in the Science classrooms – a taxidermy Platypus, care of Australian Museum’s ‘Museum in a Box’. The Museum in a Box is part of an outreach program run by the Australian Museum that brings museum specimens into school classrooms.
This has been a wonderful learning opportunity for our students, particularly the Preliminary Biology students who this term have been studying Australian native flora and fauna as part of their Evolution of Australian Biota module. Students have been able to see first hand the adaptations of the Platypus, consolidate their understanding of how its classification has changed over time and learn about how humans are impacting on their environment through a fun board game.
Student comments:

Year 11 students had the opportunity to view and learn using ‘Platypus-Museum in a box’ from the Australian Museum in Sydney. The box contained various interactive items that related to the platypus and gave us  further insight into how platypuses have evolved and adapted to the Australian environment. Some items included:
* a board game that helped to convey how humans can negatively impact the platypus and its environment
*an educational DVD on the platypus
* platypus puppets to help educate younger students
* a taxidermy platypus and plastic representation of the life cycle of its young (puggles)
* various posters and information booklets with information on the Platypus. 
*I have found this to be a valuable learning opportunity.- Meg Carr

The museum in a box revealed a lot about evolution of Australian biota through the taxidermy platypus. We were able to see the platypus close up and view its adaptations. Some adaptations include: the backwards pouch, laying egg rather than giving birth, webbed feet and secreting milk through glands rather than having a nipple. They also have fur that repels water. Through museum in a box we were also able to see how various events, both natural and man created can affect the platypuses environment, e.g. Building a dam upriver from a platypuss habitat will destroy it. We were also able to see the different stages of the puggles (baby platypuses).  – Kara Strong