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Celebrate National Fossil Day with the kids at MD area events

NationalFossilDayDon’t miss out on the National Fossil Day educational fun Oct. 15, 2014, with activities and special things to do in the Maryland/Washington, D.C., area.

National Fossil Day was started in 2010 by the National Park Service and the American Geological Institute. This year, more than 300 partners, including museums, federal and state agencies, fossil sites, science and education organizations and national parks are sponsoring special events. The nationwide celebration will feature events that promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils.

In Washington, D.C., the National Museum of Natural History is holding a big event with the National Park Service and other National Fossil Day partners Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the museum. The event includes presentations and activities with something for every age group and starts on the museum steps where children are invited to become “Junior Paleontologists” at 10 a.m.


Other activities include:

  • Sifting for Fossils – Take on the role of a paleontologist: search through a matrix looking for marine fossils and learn how to identify what you find.
  • Ask a Paleontologist – Talk with Natural History Museum and U. S. Geological Survey scientists about their research and what it’s like to be a paleontologist.
  • Paleo Art: Drawing Fossils – Learn from scientific illustrators how to draw fossils and reconstruct how ancient plants and animals looked from the fossil evidence.
  • Shark!! – Explore a variety of fossil shark teeth and learn more about the early history of sharks.
  • FossiLab – Preparing fossils for study or exhibits takes a keen eye and a steady hand. Learn how specialists extract fossil from rock, sift microfossils from gravel and sand and rebuild fossils found in many pieces.
  • Explore the Q?rius Fossil Collection – Q?rius has hundreds of fossils that you can handle. From dinosaurs, to trilobites, to sharks and ancient plants and insects, the Q? collection will take you around the world and through time.

The Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons will celebrate National Fossil Day Friday, Oct. 17, with a Dino Days event.

Visitors can be a paleontologist for the day, dig for dinosaur bones in the Discovery Room sandbox and go on a scavenger hunt filled with dinosaur facts that ends with cracking a dinosaur egg. Kids can make their own dino hat; listen to dinosaur stories; sing special dinosaur songs; and learn the dinosaur stomp dance. All activities are free with museum admission of $4-$9.

Or simply head to Calvert Cliffs State Park where your family can find fossils. The cliffs were formed more than 10 to 20 million years ago and now reveal the remains of prehistoric species including sharks, whales, rays and seabirds that were the size of small airplanes. For details visit the Calvert Cliffs State Park website.

For more information on National Fossil Day visit the website, which has a listing of events and a kids page with activities and information just for kids.

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