Elementary school students take a LEAP into paleontology
April 18, 2016
A group of kindergarten through third grade students from School 19 and 33 participated in an outreach event in the University of Rochester’s biology department. Organized by U of R undergraduate Georgina Kessie and sponsored by LEAP (a tutoring program run out of the Warner School of Education), about 20 youngsters and their tutors gathered for an exploration in paleontology with Professor Goldfarb.
The students learned what kind of scientists study dinosaur bones, and then set about to determine the identity of a large fossilized dinosaur bone loaned by Professor Minckley. The group examined the fossil and compared it to bones in the skeletons of a cat, human and other mammals. The group was torn between the fossil being a foot bone or a vertebra, with some students thinking it might be a knee bone or part of a skull. Everyone agreed that more research was necessary!
This event was an effort to enhance the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education of elementary school students who will eventually attend East middle and high schools, and where the department’s efforts are becoming concentrated.