Annmarie Young’s fifth grade class at Village Elementary School in Hilton recently participated in Scientists in Action: From T. rex to Turkey, a program of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Through this interactive classroom experience, students learned that every bird alive today is a descendant of the theropod dinosaur, like the Tyrannosaurus rex and velociraptor.
The program is designed to give students live access to scientists in the field and research labs. Young’s class was on camera to ask the scientists questions as others from around the country watched via Skype and asked questions through the chat feature.
Student questions guided the exploration into evolution with paleontologist Joe Sertich and ornithologist Garth Spellman. Audrey Phillips and Colton Ralyea asked, “What is the most fascinating resemblance between dinosaurs and birds that you have found?” Evalyn Adams and Kara Brone appeared on camera with the question, “Have you found any genetic similarities between birds and dinosaurs?”
Students around the country viewed fossils, natural history collections and specimens as if they were in the museum. The opportunity was made possible locally through the Monroe 2 BOCES Distance Learning program, which uses technology so students can talk with experts, visit distance places and learn digital citizenship.