Friday, July 25, 2014

Paleontology Rocks 2

The Orange Group on their "Walk through time."
We've had another fun and exciting week at Camp Explorations!  This week we learned all about Paleontology.  On Monday, we focused on geological time scale.  Campers visualized how much a billion is (about 250 pages filled with asterisks!), and made geological time scale spirals.  We also went on a walk to the Diag at the center of UMich's campus to take a walk through time and learn about the Earth's history.

Very enthusiastically coloring their Geological Time Scale Spirals.
On Tuesday, we learned all about dinosaurs.  Campers learned about what happened to the dinosaurs that didn't go extinct and made their own gliding Archaeopteryx (an early ancestor of birds) models.  We learned what different dinosaurs ate with this online interactive and made late Cretaceous food pyramids.  Lastly, campers learned how some dinosaurs get their names and created their own species!

Creating new dinosaur species.

Some very cool teeth casts!
Wednesday's theme was fossils.  Campers got the opportunity to hold and see many different kinds of fossils.  They even took home their own pieces of coprolite (make sure to ask what it is)! The kids acted out different prehistoric animals to learn how difficult it is for fossils to form, and then made their own plaster casts of T. rex or Spinosaurus teeth!

Playing some "stones in the stomach"
Thursday was all about herbivores and carnivores.  Counselors gave campers a tour of our Prehistoric Life Exhibit to see some of the Museum's dinosaur specimens.  We learned how different adaptations helped dinosaurs eat, like gastroliths, and different types of teeth shapes.  Campers finished off their day by making Parasaurolophus masks that make sounds like Parasaurolophus may have!

A Parasaurolophus mask in the making!

Our Mastodon herd learning about population dynamics.
We finished off the week learning about animals of the Ice Age.  Campers learned how the arrival of humans affected the population of Mastodons through a game, and then made hand print Mastodons.  They learned all about some of the strange creatures of the Ice Age and how they interacted together.

A masterpiece in the works.

It's been a great week and we hope your campers had fun!  We hope to see you again soon!

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