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Found 6 results

  1. 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 year. All of the programs we have on the schedule right now are from schools we did not get to last year too which seems a good omen. We are going to do 5th and possibly 6th grade programs this year in addition to the 2nd-4th programs. We added an Intro to Fossils program for the 2nd graders and the 5th grade program will feature some Miocene marine mammal material which I am super excited about. I think the bulk of the programs will be Dinosaurs but I am going to really push sharks this year too. We got our new displays done and added some really cool fossils to show the kids. I think the science is stronger this year as I really studied pretty hard. I even did some work on the Facebook page which I totally neglected last year lol I can not say we will give away fossils to all of the kids this year but we did restart the fossil give away program this year too. Right now we have about 200 shark teeth to give away so we know the first few programs will be covered. I should be able to pick up 100 or so more shark teeth in early October. We will do our best to get fossils to as many kids as we can and I hope surpass the 700 mark again this year however we made sure to tell teachers it is a first come first serve part of the program. The best part of the season will be working with my son all the time. He is out of high school and ready to work. The art is coming along and we will be razor sharp with the presentation material. I will not be around on TFF much so no more bad shark identifications lol but I will get updating our progress throughout the year including pictures ( we will have release forms !). I will not be adding more fossils except for give away stuff until December at the earliest so the collector in me is going to be sitting on the sidelines. That is okay because it is time to work We want to once again thank all of our friends on the forum who have contributed to Fossils on Wheels. You have all made this a much better organization and we would not be doing this again without the support we have gotten.
  2. We just wrapped up our first official fossil education program and it was AWESOME !! I let my son miss his last two classes of the day so we could do our first program together. We talked about how fossils are formed. We showed the kids some awesome fish fossils, our 5 inch Meg and some big whale fossils. Most of the program was about dinosaurs and we covered quite a bit of ground. The kids got to touch and feel Trike frill pieces. They saw T-Rex teeth and raptor teeth. We showed them fossils from a Titanosaur and Spinosaurs. We introduced them to Ornithiomimid dinosaurs and they learned about an Anky named Zuul. We wrapped our hour long program by giving 35 2nd grade students free fossil starter kits which was the highlight of the day. To all who have donated fossils, passed on knowledge and encouraged us....THANK YOU. All of the donations and support are putting fossils into the hands of kids and spreading natural history education. My favorite part was having Carter there with me. This is a fantastic start for us and it appears the future is very bright for Fossils on Wheels. All of the hard work we have put in is absolutely worth it and the faces of the kids at the end of the hour reflected that.
  3. A Dynamite Dino Donation

    A few months ago we purchased a T-Rex tooth from TFF member @Troodon and he also gave us a super nice Nano tooth. I never got his permission to mention that sale or the gift so I get that anonymous. That is our only T-Rex material and it was also the first fossil donation to our program from a Fossil Forum member. Those teeth really helped us get started becasue it allowed us to use our small budget to fill in other parts of the dinosaur program around having T-Rex stuff. We owe him a huge thank you for that and I wanted to share this on the forum. Well we now have another gigantic THANK YOU to give Frank. I arrived home from work yesterday to find a package from him and it was beautiful dinosaur fossils and some additional non dinosaur Hell Creek material. There were some fantastic fossils in that box and he helped us really strengthen not only the Hell Creek part of dino program but also our African dinosaur section as well. I say this in most of our posts now because it is true. We could not do what we are doing without the support of The Fossil Forum and the members here. @Troodon shares his knowledge and his identification skills with everybody here and that has been invaluable to me. Our dinosaur program is heavily influenced by the knowledge I have gotten from him and bolstered by his generous donations. Thank you Troodon and all of TFF members who donate fossils, share the knowledge and offer encouragement. We really could not do this without you The box o' dinos..... Thescelosaurus fossils (toe bone, vert, two teeth), a beautiful Ceratopsian tooth from HC, an Edmontosaurus tendon, some awesome HC croc teeth, an R.isosceles tooth, a really nice Spino tooth, an abelisaurid tooth,a beautiful Titanosaur indet tooth, and a Ornithomimid toe bone (possibly a juvie Struthiomimus).
  4. We have officially booked our first dinosaur education program A local teacher actually used The Fossil Forum to find us and ask us if we did dinosaur programs. We are dinosaur educators. The program is actually two days before our first official Fossils on Wheels shark program. I would never have thought our first program would be dinosaurs because we were not planning on even offering dinosaurs until the fall of this year. We are 9 months ahead of schedule but the demand is there so off we go in the wild world of dinosaurs. I am excited and a little nervous as I have less than two weeks to get myself ready. Thanks to donations from TFF members we have fossils to give these kiddos and we are going to have a lot of fun with this presentation. We get to talk about how fossils form and introduce the kids to the some awesome dinosaurs. I hope this is the first of many to come !! Thank you to The Fossil Forum and its members who have been so supportive and welcoming to us. Without your help, we would not be doing this.
  5. Fossils on Wheels received another generous donation to our education programs this week. TFF member @Herb sent us a box of super cool invertebrates. He sent us a diversity of fossils from the Southern US that cover a wide range of eras. These fossils will be given to students in fossil starter kits and used in hands-on activities. Herb's donation is also awesome because this pushes me to learning a lot more about invertebrate fossils. One of the best parts of teaching kids about natural history through fossil exploration is that I get to learn a lot. Good teachers learn and challenge themselves so they can challenge their students. I do not have a lot of knowledge about these types of animals but I am so excited to start learning. Among the fossils we received were- Mississippian Corals and Brachiopods from Kentucky, Crinoid stems and Silurian sponges from Tennessee, Cretaceous Gastropods from Texas, and Eocene Bivalves from Alabama. Thank you Herb for a generous donation that will get put to good use
  6. On November 8th of 2018, a wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise and several other small communities. 12,000 homes were destroyed and 85 people died. The Camp Fire was the most destructive and the deadliest wild land fire in the history of California. Chico is located 8 miles from Paradise and we all know people who lost homes. I know 40 plus people who lost everything they had. I have lived in Chico for 20 years and I spent a lot of time in Paradise. It was a beautiful town. All of the schools from Paradise have settled in Chico. Many of the schools started getting up and running in temporary locations as early as December 5th if I remember correctly. I work for a museum a CSU Chico and we volunteered to give some free field trips and presentations for the students from Paradise. I have been an educator for a decade and I volunteered to do programs for the kids. One of those was a trip to a local charter school that had turned its gym into a temporary home for two K- 8th charter schools from Paradise. I took a few fossils from the museum and stood in front of 250 kids. Here is the kicker, every single kids in the gym had lost their home. Every single teacher had lost their home. 275 people in that gym and I was the only person there who had a home. It is fair to say that experience and my other volunteer efforts during and after the fire changed me. I used to be an outdoor science educator and a wildlife researcher. I led hikes with kids, rebuilt habitat, photographed wildlife from all over California plus my kids and I even rescued wildlife. I was snarge good at that job and I loved it. It was a wild life and my kids grew up on trails and around wild animals. In October of 2017, I broke my back and lost the ability to walk for 4 months. The injury ended that career. I was already working at museum but I knew I would never get back outdoors as an instructor. I am an insurance liability. I also stopped educating. I was just a supervisor at the museum. I did nothing with education until I started working those Paradise kids. It fired me up again and I went on a mission. Fossils on Wheels was born. Most of our spring programs are going to be freebies for kids from Paradise. We have some programs with Chico teachers and a few paying gigs too but the focus is on helping get those kids some creative education. The fire was a national news story but the recovery is not. People forget as they get on with their lives. We do not have that luxury. We now share a town with those that lost everything. The conditions for education are less than idea. Some schools landed in nice locations. Other are housed in old buildings that should not be schools. The teachers have it rough as you can imagine a teacher having it yet they are doing their job every day under the worst circumstances. I am writing this to explain further what we do but also to put the spotlight on member here that made a donation that will go to those kids, @JBMugu. He is giving our program a bunch of mammal bones and shark teeth from Sharktooth Hill. The overwhelming vast majority of those shark teeth will end up in the hands of kids who lost homes and everything they had in this world. You may not think a few shark teeth make a difference but they really do. I gave away quite a few of my own in the fall right after the fire hit. The kids were so happy to have some shark teeth. It makes a difference to them. These teeth will be sorted by a group of intermediate schools that first met 4 weeks after the fire. There school is in an old hardware store. They will sort and ID teeth that will be given to the little kids from Paradise and they will also get more teeth. Without the donation from Jesse, we would not be doing this lab and we would not have these fossils to give. His donation has given us the ability to pass on the generosity that he showed to a lot of kids who need good things to come their way. I have learned that The Fossil Forum is not a place for fossil collectors. It is made up of some really great human beings that happen to also collect fossils. It is an honor to be part of this community and it is an honor to among people who are so quick to help fellow collectors and in our case, put fossils into the hands of kids who lost everything. Thank you Jesse and thank you to everybody here who gives their time, knowledge and their fossils to help other collectors.
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