On Wednesday, October 15th, the United States is celebrating National Fossil Day. And the Sternberg Museum is joining in the fun!
National Fossil Day is a day museums, organizations, institutions, government agencies, and other groups dedicate to educating the public on the importance of preserving and understanding fossils. To this end, the Sternberg is extending their hours and opening their doors free of charge to offer special fossil-focused programs from 9:00am to 9:00pm. We invite kids, adults, families, and students of all ages to come celebrate and learn about the fossil resources of Kansas! Including our two newly appointed State Fossils: Tylosaurus and Pteranodon!
The day’s events include:
- All Day: Free admission to our exhibits and special programming
- 9:00am – 2:30pm: K-12 school groups touring special exhibits** (see note at bottom of post)
o Student groups will visit special exhibits set up around the Museum focusing on how and why we study fossils. Topics include how we dig up and clean fossils, how bones and animals grow, how we can tells males from females in the fossil record, and how skeletons relate to how animals lived their lives.
- 4:00pm – 6:00pm: Fossil ID, Gallery Tours, Post Rock Carving
o Post Rock quarrying demo (in Museum parking lot)
o “Post Rock Country” book signing by author Brad Penka
o Guided tours of fossil gallery (tours at 4pm and 5pm)
o Guided tours of zoology and paleontology collections (tours at 4pm and 5pm)
o Bring in your rocks and fossils for identification by Museum scientists
- 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Scientific Presentations and Discovery Room Activities
o These talks will be given by Fort Hays State University graduate students studying fossils in the Sternberg Museum paleontology collections.
§ 7:00pm: Ian Trevethan, Mosasaur thermoregulation
§ 7:30pm: Mackenzie Kirchner-Smith, Hesperornis and diving bird foot morphology
§ 8:00pm: Thomas Buskuskie, Dinosaurs of Kansas
§ 8:30pm: Kelsie Abrams, Teleoceras rhinoceros ecology and diet
o The Discovery Room will be open for kids and families so patrons of all ages can enjoy the Museum!
As always, the overarching theme of National Fossil Day is education. This year, we are not only providing a variety of educational experiences to the public, but are showcasing several educational partnerships within our community. Students from Quinter High School will be talking about their experience digging up a Mosasaur with the Museum. Post Rock Country events will get the community involved exploring the bridge between Kansas’s natural history and cultural history. FHSU Department of Geoscience graduate students are presenting their research on Museum fossils. And we are celebrating the newly named State Fossils of Kansas, legislature that results from the work of Kansas museums, patrons, and fossil hunters.
Come join in the fun as we learn about Kansas natural history!
**If you are interested in your child’s class attending National Fossil Day events, have his/her teacher contact Education Director David Levering (firstname.lastname@example.org).**