Children learn about dinosaurs on campus

Author: Shannon Chapla

Some two dozen children from South Bend’s Robinson Community Center stared wide-eyed as the skull of a T-Rex was unveiled before them Tuesday (July 15) at the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Visitors’ Center.p. The students, who ranged in age from kindergarten to the sixth grade, gathered around casts of the head and teeth of “Peck’s T-Rex.” The fossilized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus was unearthed by J. Keith Rigby, a University paleontologist, in 1997 in northeast Montana near the Fort Peck Reservoir. Rigby believes it is the largest specimen of a Tyrannosaurus ever found.p. In addition, the group watched a Discovery Kids Channel program titled “Bonehead Detectives of the Paleo World” and a news report on Rigby’s find. The children participated in a pseudo dinosaur dig during which they unearthed the casts of actual dinosaur bones and teeth with the help of Notre Dame student guides pretending to be paleontologists.p. Prior to the event, staff from the Robinson Center, the Snite Museum of Art and the St. Joseph County Public Library led activities during which students visited dinosaur Web sites online, incorporated dinosaurs in art, and read books about paleontology.p. The dinosaur project was the first in a new series launched by the Notre Dame Community Relations office called “Learn with Us.” The series welcomes children from under-represented populations to the University for activities that reveal the wonders of such fields as archaeology, fine arts, music, history and culture from the viewpoint of scholars who work in those fields.p.

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