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Sun Dec 23, 2018, 12:18 PM

Look what I found, in Nebraska of all places...

I forget exactly what I was looking for, maybe something about Paleozoic time lines, but I came across this teachers' guide. I am no expert in prehistory, but it looks pretty comprehensive to my amateur eyes.

And no mention of Noah.


From the introduction:

Dear Colleague,
The Ancient Life Encounter Kit is designed to bring hands-on materials from the University of
Nebraska State Museum, as well as inquiry-based activities to the classroom. It is our goal to introduce
some of the lesser-known aspects of the Paleozoic Era to students. For those groups able to visit our
Morrill Hall Museum, the kit will complement and enrich a visit to the Gallery of Ancient Life.
The objectives of this Encounter Kit are for students to:

1. learn how to read time charts and time lines and discover the major events that
have occurred throughout geologic time;
2. discover the types of invertebrate animals that lived during the Paleozoic Era;
3. learn how to use a key to identify fossils;
4. discover, through an activity focused on sharks’ teeth, that shallow seas inhabited
by sharks, once covered Nebraska;
5. compare fossil animals to the shells and skeletons of their present day relatives.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Look what I found, in Nebraska of all places... (Original post)
TreasonousBastard Dec 2018 OP
planetc Dec 2018 #1
Igel Dec 2018 #3
planetc Dec 2018 #4
Thunderbeast Dec 2018 #2

Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 12:30 PM

1. Sounds like a great series of lessons.

we never had anything this neat in NYS schools. And later they found a dinosaur skeleton at the northern end of the county, so it isn't as though we lived in a fossile-starved area. We had a complete skeleton, but children were never allowed to find neat stuff.

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Response to planetc (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 03:18 PM

3. A lot of university museums do this sort of thing.

Not always fossils. But their core mission is to teach, and, well, when's the last time you went into a university museum?

The art museums get some foot traffic. But natural history? Last time I went into one (University of Texas, flagship school, large museum) my wife and I were the only people there for the 2 or so hours we were there. Some clerk came out 20 minutes after we entered, seemed surprised that somebody was there, asked if we needed anything, and then vanished. Apparently their primary foot traffic is people who work nearby and need a quiet, sophisticated place to sit and drink their coffee and eat lunch, then come in from the lobby to use the bathroom.

They need to justify their funding, so administrators are okay with it. Plus, having known a curator or two, they really like their fields and would do this kind of stuff anyway. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, AZ, for instance (part of the U. Arizona system) had tours and in addition had their curators do field trips. They'd bundle up stuff, exhibits and whatnot, and go into the 'field' of classrooms in the great Phoenix area to teach about wildlife and natural history.

Science and tech museums that don't do this kind of thing and aren't just humongous are called "storerooms", where everything's in boxes, slowly moldering.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 04:19 PM

4. You're right, and I bet I know why.

If all these museums are sending out teaching packets, etc., I'll bet they're competing for grant dollars with other museums--the federal government wants to see some bang for their buck, and curators who are informing the public, and reaching out to the school population will increase their visibility, and perhaps their funding.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 01:01 PM

2. Last night, we watched "Inherit the Wind"

The 1960 film was over-acted in spots, but it was a great performance by Spencer Tracy. The classic story of the "Scopes Trial" is a history lesson on the ongoing conflict between religious demagogues and reason-based educators. Many states still have statutes requiring the teaching of biblical myths as science.

The story is timeless. Fundamentalism is a powerful and dangerous force..whether in Iran, Myanmar, or Kentucky.

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