June 17, 2008

Clawing into the World of Dinosaurs

By Lindsey Slater, Journal-World, Lawrence, Kan.

Jun. 17--Playing in a sandbox has never been more fun.

Eleven children took part in a day camp at Kansas University's Natural History Museum on Monday to learn all about dinosaurs and fossils.

"Campers spend the day excavating the dinosaur fossils," said museum educator Dawn Kirchner. "Digging for fossils isn't necessarily easy."

Some of the children want to be paleontologists when they grow up, and this was one way to try out their potential career.

"I've always been fascinated by dinosaurs," said camper Gabe McGee, 10.

"Some of (the fossils) were stuck to the bottom and then we found a bunch of little ones that we could take out and identify," said Ana Stanovicic, 8. "We have this big one that we're still trying to find out what it is."

The hands-on camp taught children about distinguishing dinosaur fossils, and the youths did fossil casting.

They also learned about how a fossil dig works and what kind of work they can expect in the paleontology world.

"I would go out to different countries and different regions and look for dinosaur bones," said Max Vincent, 9. "I think dinosaurs are really cool, and I think that maybe I can find something like DNA."

But the favorite part of the day? Getting dirty.

"Digging dinosaur bones," said Ana. "This was a lot of fun."

The Dinosaur Detectives day camp is one of six camps set for this summer at the Natural History Museum in Dyche Hall.

Others include geology explorations and aquatic biology.

For more information, visit the Web site www.nhm.ku.edu.


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