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  1. It looks as though the entire 2020-2021 school will be on-line in my part of California. The CSU system recently made the decision to go on line only through the spring semester and I am sure the local school districts will do the same. Carter and I have have had many discussions lately about the current COVID related issues and possibly doing on line supportive education. The biggest impact our education programs had was the hands-on aspect and interactions with students that the hands-on experience afforded us. We both feel that we really will not be able to design an on line program that wi
  2. The State of California released its guideline recommendations for in person learning to resume. It is pretty clear that it will be quite awhile before we will be able to return to doing Fossils on Wheels education programs. Likely the entire school year. Inviting outside people in to classrooms will not be high on the priority list. It is just a reality. It does suck but it is out of our control really so for the time being Fossils on Wheels will continue our holding pattern. I am working on some ways to distribute some free fossils and curriculum. We may do some videos as well but we know we
  3. Unfortunately, Fossils on Wheels will be suspending our programs for while. We really do not have a choice as most of our programs are in public schools with a few being done for elderly care facilities. Even though there are no confirmed cases of the Corona Virus in Butte County, where the majority of programs are done, the reality is that closures of public institutions are imminent. I also work for a museum that is part of CSU Chico and we are preparing for some time off right now and it is not vacation time. Public health is the primary concern. We fully understand that and in
  4. Today was not only a leap day but it was the 10th anniversary of the Gateway Science Museum. We were invited to take part in the festivities and provide an activity. We decided to bring some fossils that folks might not associate with leaping or jumping. We tied the leaping theme together with our fossils and talked sharks, whales, avian dinos, non-avian dinos, and marine mammals. The Cetaceans stole the show but people were digging the breaching sharks too. I was often busy with double duty, I’m a supervisor at the Gateway, so Carter took the lead. He absolutely nail
  5. fossilsonwheels

    Dinosaurs in Yuba City

    We hit the road today and took our dinosaur fossils to Yuba City. We did two dinosaur programs for the second grade classes at Franklin Elementary. The kids had fantastic knowledge, asked tons of questions and were well behaved. Carter and I had a really great time and I think the kiddos did too. Thankful for the opportunity to reach new kids !! It was also our first chance to use the large Diplodocus bone and our Anzu claw. Here are some of the students checking out a big Diplodocus fossil while getting their fossils to take home
  6. fossilsonwheels

    Sharks in Paradise

    Carter and I spent the day at Paradise Ridge Elementary doing shark adaptation programs with some really awesome kids. I had previously met these kiddos while doing dinosaur presentations back in December. They amazing kids that lived through the Camp Fire and almost all of them lost their homes. You would never know they had been through all that loss. All three classes were respectful, very engaged, inquisitive, and very appreciative of the fossils we gave them. They asked so many questions and really wanted to learn. We were extremely impressed by the volume of questions and th
  7. Carter and I began work on a website for Fossils on Wheels which is pretty exciting for us. Our primary goal with the website will be giving teachers a chance to learn more about what we do and to be able to see what we do. We have three shark programs next week at Paradise Ridge which we can photograph/video and two dinosaur programs in early February in Yuba City that we can also photograph. We will also have testimonials from teachers that should let people know that we are pretty good at what we do. We hope to be able to make it easier for teachers and/or institutions to book programs via
  8. fossilsonwheels

    The Magic Of Fossils

    We did three Dinosaur education programs at Shasta Elementary which has become our home away from home school. These were cute and excited little 2nd graders. After the first program, the teachers informed us of potentially problematic student. This kid had some pretty heavy duty behavioral stuff going on. The decision was made to let him stay in the classroom for the program. The program started and this students was at a table in the far corner doing his own thing. He made a minor attempt at being a distraction for about 5 minutes by tapping his pencil on the desk and making noises.
  9. fossilsonwheels

    A day in Paradise

    We wrapped up our 2019 season in Paradise California today. We did programs for all three 3rd grade classes at the new Paradise Ridge Elementary. It’s been a little more than a year since the Camp Fire destroyed most of the town and it was super cool to visit the new school. The kids were very sweet, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I think the 6 classrooms we did presentations for over the past two days represent our best work yet. Today was just special and so much fun. Carter ended making two of the programs despite a dental appointment early in the morning. This was a highlight
  10. fossilsonwheels

    A program for the older kids

    Today we did something pretty cool. We took our dinosaurs to The Inn, an assisted living facility. The science talk got deep and they were really into it. We gave them fossils and did our thing for an hour and a half ! The seniors were so much fun and pretty enjoyable for me just a few months removed from my fathers death. We got asked back to do the shark thing Fun way to expand our programs !!!
  11. Fossils on Wheels teamed up with the Gateway Science Museum to bring a whole lot of shark education to Chico this past Saturday. Our friend Tay Francis of the Gateway did a shark tooth ID lab inside the museum while Carter and I talked shark evolution outside. We had about 65 or so people stop by our table, mostly families. We handed out about 30 bags of shark teeth. Several teachers stopped by and they got flyers so we should get a few more programs booked from it. Carter did a fantastic job representing us as I also had to function as supervisor for the museum. This
  12. fossilsonwheels

    240 Bags of Fossils

    That is the rough number of students that got free fossils today We did 4 presentations for 8 classrooms at Turtle Bay Elementary in Redding. They all got Dino presentations and they all got to get their hands on Dino Fossils. At one point we passed a Nano tooth around the classroom and everybody got to check it out. Our largest program to date and at some point today we surpassed 1,000 free fossil kits given away since Feb 1 of this year. Pic 1 Carter showing the kids our big hunk of Diplodocus bone Pic 2 Kids petting Camarasaurus ribs Pic 3 Showin off th
  13. It is becoming to Fossils on Wheels tradition to do a program way ahead of schedule lol I just booked our first marine mammal themed program This is about 5 months before I thought we would be ready but we do not turn down opportunities to do our thing in a classroom. The program is a look at the Miocene featuring marine mammal and shark fossils. We have just enough fossil material to touch on the West and East Coasts of the United States during this time. In fact, we have just enough material to do the program at all but we did this with dinosaurs last year and it worked out just fine.
  14. We did our first program of the school today at Marigold Elementary School here in Chico. The kids got some fun shark education and of course, free fossils ! As usual, the strange early sharks got a lot of attention from the kids as did the big Megalodon teeth but the kids really enjoyed learning about Bamboo Sharks, Angel Sharks, and Cat Sharks too. Pic 1 Carter showing the kids some Paleozoic shark teeth up close. This is always a big hit Pic 2 A student examining a rostal tooth from a Giant Sawfish. Pic 3 going over Guitarfish adaptations with the students
  15. fossilsonwheels

    New Dinosaur Education Displays

    We did a lot more work on our shark stuff this summer than dinosaurs but we did change how display the non touch fossils. We added a few new items too but stayed light on additions. First up is our updated Cretaceous North Africa display. We added a really nice theropod tooth that fits @Troodon ‘s Morph Type 4 Dromaeosaurid-like profile hence the label for the program. We explain the ID difficulties of fossils so for a tooth like this they know we are not sure of what critter had this tooth. I am pretty happy with how this one looks. We give a nice picture of Cretaceo
  16. After spending the summer being more of a collector than an educator, it is time to get into educator mode. We had a good run in the spring and surpassed our own expectations. Carter and I set a big goal for this year. We want to triple the 700+ students we provided fossil education for last year. 2100 students is the goal for this year. It is going to take a lot of work but we are up to the challenge. We are already booking programs in Chico and we are starting to get some interest from schools in Fresno, Sacramento and Redding. We may end up traveling quite a bit more than anticipated this y
  17. We have wrapped up our shark adaptation programs for this season. We still have at least 5 dinosaur programs left, possibly up to 9 but sharks are done for the spring. We have an abundance of shark adaptations that we covered in these 1 hour long presentations but I am ambitious. Next school year, we are splitting the program and offering a much more comprehensive two part program. We can really deep dive on the shark science and work in more sharks. I am in the process of slowly adding some things to improve the program. We picked up a pretty little Caseodus tooth, some Orthacanth
  18. I was recently reading some studies on extant sharks to see if there was a way we could incorporate a more direct message about extant shark conservation in our future education programs. I was struck by the plight of Angelsharks and decided to make this special animal a featured species in next years programs. We have a great opportunity to bring some awareness to the conservation issues that these sharks face while doing our fossil education programs with Project Angelshark. Carter and I have decided to donate a percentage of each paid education program to the Angelshark Conserva
  19. Today is my last day off before I go back to work and I was supposed to spend the day making fossil starter kits. I have a cold though and I do not want the kids to think that 12 million year old shark teeth gave them a cold lol I am pretty bored so I thought I would post about our Judith River dinosaur fossils and how we are going to get discuss this formation. I am really surprised how much I am enjoying learning about these dinosaurs and this will be a formation that we spend a good bit of time on. It must have had some very productive ecosystems and there is a great diversity h
  20. 715 free fossil kits. That is the number. We have three individual class presentations left and a small assembly type for two classes. Adding up those students with the students we have already done presentations for put us right around 715 for the spring. Every teacher got fossil kits for future students to enjoy too. The fossils we gave away we are a combination of our own fossils, fossils we purchased, and a hell of a lot of donated fossils from TFF members. The kids knew that most of the fossils were given to us to give to them from very generous people. That is 700+ kids that got take fos
  21. I do not want to brag but I am going to just a little We did our note taking dinosaur adaptation program yesterday and it was really pretty awesome. Every kid in both classes took notes and they were among the most engaged students I have ever worked with. I already knew these kids from an earlier shark presentation so they were really pretty excited. They knew their dinosaurs but we were able to expand their knowledge and get them excited about new dinosaurs. We will be doing more these dual standard programs next year for sure. This was also the first presentation i had done whe
  22. We were asked to comeback to 2 classrooms we had done a shark presentation for and do dinos ! Very cool but the teachers threw me a curve. They want a program aimed at teaching kids note taking and writing short essay answers from the notes. This is quite different than just talking about adaptations or the geology of fossils. I happily said yes and now I have two weeks to plan an entirely different theme but this will help us going forward as it gives us another style of program to offer teachers. I am pretty stoked that the teachers though enough of our program to invite us back
  23. Today is a big day for Fossils on Wheels. It is our first multiple school, multiple program adventure. Three programs at two schools, 1 shark and 2 dino programs. I am excited to the point of being hyper, which could also be due to too much coffee lol This is a great challenge for me as I have to rapidly switch gears from shark adaptations to dinosaur adaptations. It is a physical challenge as well just setting up the different programs. My son is at school today so it is all me though he will be with me for a program tomorrow. By the end of today, more than 100 students will have
  24. The response to our programs has been almost unbelievable to me. We booked an additional 5 programs this week and will be working almost non-stop until the end of the school year !! It going so well that I am now concerned about having enough fossils to give away to all of the students. This is not a problem that I had foreseen as I did not expect to be this busy. I am going to have to get more shark teeth and we had ALOT of shark teeth to give away. I am really happy about this. The first teacher we did a program for told us that we would be working year around in no time and it appears he w
  25. We had two really great Dinosaur programs this week. We have two more Dino programs and a shark program next week too so things are rolling along very nicely for us. I did notice this week that we are missing out on an opportunity to give a broader picture of the paleoecology of the dinosaur era. The kids yesterday wanted to see Pterosaur and marine reptile fossils. We had a chance to really explain the difference between those reptiles and dinosaurs because we have yet to acquire those fossils. I wanted to open this topic to TFF members because I respect the knowledge of fossils a
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