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I'm preparing a teacher education workshop which includes a fossil hunting and identification activity. The teachers are coming from many states across the country. I'd like to include some suggestions of sites where they could replicate the things they learn and experience during the workshop with their students in the vicinity of their respective schools. I have the Indiana schools covered. For the ones near Dallas, I'm thinking Mineral Wells Fossil Park (and maybe Ladonia for older, more adventuresome students). The ones I need help with are sites within field trip range of the following: Austin, TX ( @Uncle Siphuncle, @KimTexan, @BobWill, @erose)? Atlanta, GA Golden, CO Palm Bay, FL (near Melbourne) Naples, FL (any shell dump piles accessible to and suitable for k-12?) @digit ? Bentonville, AR Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, either posted here or via PM. I have alternative activity suggestions for them (e.g. bags of matrix to sift, etc) if they can't do a field trip, but there's nothing quite like the experience of hunting and discovery in the field... I would have done backflips if my grade school had had a fossil trip...
MammothPaleoGuy posted a topic in Questions & AnswersHello All! I need your help, but first I'd best introduce myself. I'm the new Program Coordinator -- and on-site paleontologist -- for the Waco Mammoth Site. For those of unfamiliar with the site, it's a late-Pleistocene recurrent mass-mortality site for Columbian mammoths and a scattering of other Rancholabrean megafauna. From 68 KA onwards at least two groups of mammoths and their camp-followers got caught in flash floods along a tributary of the Bosque River in what would become the western outskirts of Waco, TX. The site is currently a city-run in-situ display of six of those mammoths, in an enclosed climate-controlled shelter. The facility is loaded with educational potential, but at the moment all we've got is a (very nice) guided tour. I want to do better. One of the educational activities I'm looking to add in the near future is a screen-washing. I'll have the students screen and pick fossiliferous sediment and ID what they've found. They'll be able to keep most of what they find (with exceptions for scientifically important specimens) and all of their findings will get entered into a database that will be run through the PAST statistical package. I'll write up the results and try to get them published -- with the kids listed individually in the acknowledgements. The kids get real fossils, they get to participate in a real scientific study, and I get to do some research. I think it's an idea with potential, with one wrinkle; I'm having a hard time getting the sediment! I've tried buying phosphate gravel from the mines in Florida and North Carolina, but my efforts seem to be stalling. I know that some such gravel is available for resale, but it's a tad pricey. There's no way I could afford to buy the 100 or so kilos I want on the shoe-string budget I've got for the time being. If anyone has a line on a better source of bulk sediment, I'd love to hear from you! In fact, if you've got any ideas for spreading interest in paleontology, we need to talk. Paleontology is the gateway drug of science -- if we want to teach critical thinking in this country, fossils are the best place to start. Please help me work to make that happen. Regards, Don Esker