On Friday 27 January, the pupils from Yr 1 to Yr 9 received the visit of the British percussionist, composer, ethnomusicologist, and educator Andy Gleadhill, who The Richmond Families Association, RPS Families, organized last April 19th the “Night at the Museum”. 64 students from Year 4 to Year 7 and 6 parent volunteers from those classes, ventured to spend the night at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, discovering the mysteries of one of the oldest museum spaces in Madrid, founded in 1771 by Charles III. 

The adventure began at 8 p.m., when the museum closes its doors to the public. As soon as they entered, after leaving their backpacks and taking a short tour of the facilities, the monitors gathered the group in the room dedicated to the Sierra de Guadarrama in Madrid, explained the basic rules and divided the students into 6 teams to begin the scientific treasure hunt tests, among which they could search for a certain species, design their own badge or make their own conservation of a shrimp in formaldehyde. 

After a half-hour break to regain strength with dinner, the teams continued with the rest of the tests and, around midnight, attended a performance in which the history of the museum and how it has changed over its more than two centuries of life was narrated. 

A new adventure began at bedtime. Everyone stretched out their sleeping bags and mats and prepared to “sleep” in the museum. Although the lights went out at 12:30 p.m., the flashlights, the sharing of experiences, the possibility of touring the museum in the dark and the excitement of spending a night away from home with friends meant that some took a little longer than others to fall asleep. 

The next morning it was time to pack up, have breakfast and head back outside, where parents were already waiting for the museum doors to open to continue with the weekend’s plans. 

The adults who accompanied the students also deserve a special mention. Cristina, Jaime, María, Maribel, Mirella, and Borja, representing RPS Families, were attentive at all times to the progress of the activities and to help the museum monitors to ensure that the activities flowed smoothly. 

For next year, and due to the success of the event, RPS Families has already expressed its intention to repeat the activity.