Fremont Stones and Bones and The Enormous Egg
By Mary Chamberlain
What happens when an entire elementary school reads the same book, The Enormous Egg, and asks Fremont County Stones and Bones to come in to help with the family night to celebrate the reading? A two-hour evening full of paleontology learning!
At the end of January, Penrose Elementary School in Penrose, CO did their annual “One School, One Book” event, after reading The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth. Stones and Bones was invited to participate by providing centers that were science based. Activities included Fossil Bingo, Fossil Rubbings, Talk with a Paleontologist, and Compare Dinosaur Bone Cell Structure to Tree Cell Structure. Almost 150 students and parents participated in the activities, with some kids only being 4 years old! Waves of kids with their parents and grandparents experiencing the science.
Christina Taylor describing a dinosaur bone
Parents and students were thrilled to handle Christina Taylor’s polished dinosaur bones, amazed at all the information paleontologists can gather from these. Excited to see the colors, textures and patterns in the bones, feel the weight, participants were awed!
BLM Intern, Andrew Smith, answered questions that only a paleontologist can answer. Groups of kids and parents surrounded him firing off questions and listening intently to his expert answers. Appreciatively they accepted the Colorado/Royal Gorge Field Office Junior Explorer Geology of the Gold Belt Byway activity book. One parent even brought him a fossil.
Millie Wintz framing a student’s fossil rubbing
Millie Wintz and Dorothy Cool’s fossil rubbing was a favorite. Choices included a trilobite as well as others. After the rubbing was done, our new fossil friends encased the rubbing in a hand-cut oval paper frame ready for hanging on the wall.
Fossil Bingo with Mary Chamberlain was enjoyed by the youngest to the oldest. Mini-future paleontologists loved looking closely at the real fossils and then matching them up with the ones on paper. Parents, as well as kids were amazed at how quickly they learned to look for the differences.
Penrose Elementary staff provided a variety of other stations for the night including Egg Match, Puppets, Play-doh, Musical Dino Walk, as well as others.
A welcoming staff, so many family units learning together, polite and caring made this paleontology experience a meaningful, pleasurable time for Stones and Bones as well as the school community.