Fernbank's offiical blog started with a post I wrote after joining one of Fernbank’s first mock digs during summer camp. That was (ahem) a few years ago, so I decided it was time to re-visit the dig pit and live vicariously through our young, energetic and very excited campers.
First, it was time to fuel up for our adventure. Campers enjoyed a picnic lunch in the Museum’s Great Hall, under the watchful eyes of the world’s largest dinosaurs.
Please don’t feed the dinosaurs.
I decided to head to the dig pit early to take photos before the flurry of activity started. Much to my chagrin, as the campers arrived, I heard one of them ask (referring to me) “Is she a fossil.” I didn’t take it personally. (Note: look into stronger face cream.)
My reaction to being confused with a fossil.
Before we dug in to the day’s adventure, Kaden Borseth, Fernbank’s Education Program Manager–Earth Science, gave a quick overview. He explained what the campers would be looking for, the tools they’d be using, as well as the best method for recovering the fossils they found. When it comes to paleontology (and archaeology), gentle is the key! You don’t want to damage your discovery.
A quick “how to.”
And then we began! Not with a starting pistol, but with an exited flurry of little hands grasping tools and shifting dirt. It wasn’t long before the first declaration of “I FOUND something.” It would not be last.
Campers worked in teams.
Excited voices called out items as they found them. Eggs, legs, ribs and more. As each piece was uncovered (after a celebratory wave to show the others), they were carefully cleaned off and set aside.
But these weren’t just random pieces, like a really cool (and a bit dirty) puzzle, the pieces formed a dinosaur!
It was great to be a kid again, even if just for a couple of hours.
Adventures in dirt!
This unique activity was developed by Fernbank educators and is one of many engaging programs offered by the Museum. And while mock digs aren’t currently offered to the public, you can take advantage of a variety of drop-in programs offered throughout the summer. Activities include chemistry demonstrations, animal encounters and more. Look for the “Today at Fernbank” sign when you arrive for details.
Click here to see more photos from today's dig.
—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing