Busy days in kindergarten! We had two field trips this past week to further build the students’ learning about dinosaurs. First, we went to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, where students participated in a learning lab called Meet the Teeth. They learned about incisors, canines, sharp molars, and flat molars. An added bit of knowledge is the fact that the placements of an animals eyes tells us whether the animal is an herbivore or a carnivore.
All about herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores, students received skulls that they had to categorize by identifying the types of teeth each skull had. But first, students examined their own teeth!
Watch as students explore the skulls and make observations and predictions about the kind of food each animal ate.
Next, students had the opportunity to take their learning into the field. In the Mammal Hall, they were split into pairs and given a skull.
Using this skull, students had to look at the teeth and eye sockets and match the skull to one of the animals in the room. Once each group had completed this, we came together and students presented their findings to the class.
One group was quite perplexed….they knew their animal was a carnivore, but they couldn’t find a mammal on display that matched the size of the skull. Turns out, the skull belonged to a coyote, which was no longer on display. There’s no stumping these kindergartners!
Friday, we had a private tour of the SBCC Earth Science Lab. This field trip has been on hold for the last five years, as the head of the lab retired, and there was no replacement. Fast forward to 2015-2016, and we were invited back! I am just thrilled that students had the chance to see the dinosaur fossils, skulls, eggs, and claws that were on display. They were amazed at the size of these terrible lizards!
This is the femur of a sauropod!
And this is the toe claw of a Velociraptor!
We even had the chance to see a special collection of Woolly Mammoth fossils that were found on Vandenberg Air Force Base back in the 1930’s! The paleontologists at the lab said they continue excavating sites at the Base today!
Next, our lead paleontologist, Eiko, demonstrated how they make molds and casts of the fragile bones.
Next, students explored four stations which included a fossil finding station, a coloring station, an interactive topographic map, and a mineral finding station.
What a fun, fun day! You can have this much fun on Saturday, March 5, when SBCC has their annual giant science fair. All the science labs will be open from 1:00-5:00 on that day so that children can experience many more hands-on, interactive learning exhibits.