Outreach

Trip Date: 
Sat, 07/22/2017
 
 

Dino Day was a 2 day nod to the life and various times of the dinosaur giants.  It opened at 3 pm to 8 pm on Friday, July 21 and from 9am to 3 pm on Saturday, July 22, 2017.  The Danville, VA Science Museum had a table, Lynchburg College Department of Environmental Sciences had a sign up for a summer trip to the west to work a dinosaur site.  The museum had a cast of a life size Stegosaurus ca 155 million years ago.  They had cast of bones that showed a tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops engaged in combat. The Triceratops lived. Dr. Heckert and crew were there with some of Appalachian State dino skulls and bones.  Dr. Alex Hastings,  Asst. Curator of Paleontology with the VMNH, presented, "Dinosaur Hunters: Search for Ancient Giants" and Dr. Heckert presented "Tales of Triceratops".  Ruffin Tucker displayed his general collection showing Alabama Cincosaurus prints and South Carolina fossil animals and was displaying beside a display of a muskox killed by a saber toothed tiger and a number of small animal skeletons including 2 giant beavers which compared nicely with his modern beaver and section of giant beaver tooth.  Attendance for the 2 days was 2136.   

Trip Date: 
Sat, 06/10/2017
 
 

World Oceans Day was held on June 10, 2017 at Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte, NC. The NC Fossil Club was in attendance with Joy Herrington's whale material collection.  Ruffin Tucker (aided by his grandson, Joseph Zufall) manned his collection.   The weatherman gave us fine weather and we had 1100 attendees.

We had many good questions and thanks for sharing our collections and knowledge with the people.

Trip Date: 
Sun, 04/16/2017
 
 

NCFC members helped out at the Fossil Dig pile at the 2017 Museum of Life and Science Dino Egg Hunt. Thanks to the following for helping out and to Trish for organizing and all her hard work:

  • Joy Herrington, George Klein
  • Diane Willis, Ramona Krailler, Pat & Steve Clancy 
  • Jonathan Fain, Julie Niederkorn
  • Emily Bruff Simpson
  • Mary Boulton, Julie Niederkorn
  • Ramona Krailler, Laura Moore


Trip Date: 
Sat, 04/29/2017
 

James Bain, Joy Herrington, Jonathan Fain and other NCFC members hosted a fossil dig and displayed fossils for more than 10 hours in high heat & humidity at the Norwood, NC, Arbor Day Festival. James brought down all the requisite gear plus 35 gallons of fresh fossil gravel, courtesy of the Aurora Fossil Museum, to add to gravel that I and Ruffin Tucker have hauled down here in the past. People of all ages wet-screened for shark teeth all day. Smiles and laughter aplenty. Many of the kids here have never been to the beach, so we brought the beach to them. Fire Department fed us genuine Piedmont BBQ. As in years past, we are right next to the stage. Great rock bands all afternoon. 

Trip Date: 
Thu, 01/19/2017
 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 01/28/2017
 
 

Members of the NCFC, Ruffin Tucker and grandson, Joseph Zufall attended and presented a mixed collection with emphasis on my Edisto Island Ice Age animals from sloth, camel, glyptodont, horse and deer and manatee and others.  They had a large fossil rhino  skeleton and a stuffed muskox.  Dr. Sarah Smith gave 2 lectures on 13 female Mastadons found in a private pond near Hebron, Indiana.  I learned tusks grow in a cone shape.  The location may have been a refrigerator for local tribes although no butcher marks were found. There were elders with females and young.  They only had a month to do their dig.  There were many projects for the younger kids and Appalachian State was there with Dr. Heckert and 8 students.  Attendance was 1150.

 

Trip Date: 
Sat, 04/23/2016
 

Members of the NC Fossil Club directed the Fossil Frenzy section of the NC Science Olympiad.

Trip Date: 
Sun, 04/10/2016
 
 
Trip Date: 
Thu, 04/07/2016
 

Creekside Science Night was quite popular with about 300 people attending! Joy Herrington, Jonathan Fain, Trish Kohler and Diane Willis set up displays. It was a fun evening. In addition to the fossil displays, there were science experiments, DNA-building out of gumdops and licorice, twirling around on a stool while holding weights, exploding things, and a very nice astronomy dome. 

Trip Date: 
Fri, 03/25/2016
 
 
Organizers: 
Trish Kohler
 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 10/10/2015
 
Location: 
 

The NCFC Fall picnic was held in conjunction with National Fossil Day

Trip Date: 
Mon, 03/02/2015
 

Trish Kohler, Jonathan Fain and Diane Willis visited Creekside Elementary School in early March for their science night.

Trip Date: 
Sat, 03/28/2015
 
 
Organizers: 
Trish Kohler
 
 
Trip Date: 
Thu, 04/23/2015
 
Location: 
 

The Norwood Fossil Fair was held on a cool and rainy Saturday, April 23, 2015. This was the 6th year for the NC Fossil Club outreach to this Piedmont community. Jonathan, Kathy and Arianna Fain, and Ruffin Tucker represented the Club with their fossil displays. Dr. James Bain and Mary Boulton set up their aurora dirt outside under the big tent and helped many kids (and adults) find shark teeth and other fossils.  Though attendance was lower than normal due to the rain, they were able to give them a good show.  The festival provided great barbecue at the Fire Station.  The US Forest Service was there with a 20 ft. Smokey Bear, as were vendors selling jewelry, food, plants and bird houses.  There was also live music on stage all day and into the night.

 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 01/24/2015
 
 

The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, VA celebrated celebrated Dino Days from 9 am to 3 pm on January 24, 2015 with an animatronic Tyranasaurus rex, life-sized dinosaur skeleton casts and a flying Pteranadon with a 20 ft. wing span. The museum has material from the Carolina Solite Quarry in Cascade, VA.  The quarry is a Triassic site that has produced insect, plant and reptile fossils of 225 million year ago.  They also have the Boxley Quarry stromatolite that is nearly 6 ft. tall and is 500 million years old.  The NC Fossil Club was represented by Ruffin Tucker and Ramona Krailler.

Parents, teachers and kids arrived early and a number stayed to the close at 3pm.  Ruffin and Ramona had a great time answering questions and received  expressions of appreciation for sharing their fossil collections and  fossil information.  The crowd was estimated at 500 attendees.

 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 01/31/2015
 

Welcome to the Sycamore Creek Elementary Science Fair and Expo!!

This is a classic NC Fossil club table at one of the education events that we are frequently invited to. Tables were set up with a wide spread of fossils from a diverse set of time periods and ages, as well as a couple of examples of fluorescent minerals (because who doesn't love rocks that glow when you shine purple light on them?).  Jonathan Fain showed his wide collection of fossils with a few casts of the most exceptional fossils in the world for teaching purposes and a couple of modern bones to compare to the fossils. Or, as Jonathan said, "I picked it up because I was too impatient to wait for it to fossilize!"

Jonathan is a long-time member of club who loves a chance to show off his collection, teach kids about invertebrate and vertebrate fossils, and tell stories about his 5-year-old finding better fossils than him. Not to mention the coprolites that he pulled my favorite joke on the kids and moms with, "What do you think this is? Here, hold it. It's a coprolite. Know what that is? IT'S POOP!" Oh the faces that come from hearing that.  Aside from the coprolites though, our members always have something to get that "WOW!" face on a kid.

Dr. Mickle, a NCFC member and NCSU professor brought his "mobile lab" and was assisted by me. The lab included coal balls, cellulose acetate paper, acetone, and 10% HCl that has to be kept away from the kids. "I can touch it. You can't. OK?" One mom looked at me when I said this, and exclaimed, "YOU CAN TOUCH IT?!" Read more about Dr. Mickles project here: http://seekingbehemoth.blogspot.com/

"...well Ma'am, it just stings a little if you have an open cut, and my finger tips are the only part of me that makes contact. Its very dilute and its part of the process. That said, we don't want kids touching it or swallowing it just as a liability/responsibility thing!"

Anyway, people don't generally take that much interest in plant fossils. I mean, look at their faces as they look at the imprint of a leaf and an uncut coal ball. I think it is cool, but I know what it all is!

"How do you reconstruct the plants from these?"

Well... that's where destructive analysis comes in. Time to make some microscope slides by making acetate peels of them.

The audience of elementary school aged kids and their parents were amazed as the HCl bubbled and reacted with the calcium carbonate around the plant material, as the acetone turned the plant material white, and as the cellulose acetate paper dissolved into a goop around the plant material, hardened, and was ripped off to form our peels.

There we go. That's the face I was looking for!  Ooh. Aah.  Bubbles.  CHEMISTRY!  SCIENCE!!

And each kid got to take home a piece of an acetate peel. Fun times!

Emily

Trip Date: 
Fri, 10/24/2014
 
 

Discovery Place 2014 Fossil Day was held at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC from 9am to 5 pm on Saturday October 11, 2014.  The day included the opening of the Dinosaurs in Motion Exhibit headlined by an art and science exhibit of metal  work by Ashville artist, John Payne.  Payne used recycled metals to fashion life-size models of a 44 foot Tyrannosaurus Rex and a 3 horned Triceratops and others that you can control with leavers, pulleys and remote controls.  Also on hand was Dinosaur Man, Ed Bounds, who walked through the museum with hand operated puppet dinosaurs and at times, a life-sized dinosaur suit.

The NC Fossil Club was represented by Dominick and Cathy Bettini with a collection of dinosaur teeth and other fossils.  Romona Givens brought Florida and Virginia shells and shark teeth.  Jonathan and Kathy Fain and daughter brought their collection of minerals, fossils, and other interesting specimens for inspection.  Ruffin Tucker exhibited his NC Ediacaran, Edisto Beach, SC and Alabama fossils. Total visitor count for the day was 1300.  We enjoyed the crowds and the questions and comments of the attendees and appreciated the help from the great staff and volunteers at Discovery Place!

Organizers: 
Ruffin Tucker
 
 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 09/27/2014
 
Location: 
 

The Rankin Museum Fossil Fair was held Saturday, September 27, 2014.  The staff and volunteers with the museum were ready and waiting for us to help unload our fossils and had buckets of Aurora material ready for the 120 kids and families coming for the hour classes at 9 am, 10 am, noon and 1 pm.  Dr. Bain brought an additional 6 buckets of fossil material, screens and extra knee pads for guests.  Richard Chandler brought fossils to display and Joy Harrington had reworked material for tiny fossils and distributed fossil packets. Ruffin Tucker displayed inside the museum and worked outside as did Richard Chandler when the kids came. The weatherman gave us a perfect day for working outside.  Paul Borodin, his wife and Gerard Case, members of the NCFC from Merrells Inlet, SC joined us with displays of fossils, and books and fossils for sale.   Many families remained at the museum and enjoyed the wonderful collection of fossils, mounted animals, American and Amazonian Indian artifacts and local NC history.

Organizers: 
Ruffin Tucker
 
 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 06/28/2014
 
Location: 
 
Organizers: 
James Bain
 
Trip Date: 
Fri, 06/20/2014
 
Location: 
 

On June 20, the Sikh Temple in Durham had it's summer camp program. I was invited to give a fossil program along with Prithijit Chatrath, the former curator of the Duke Lemur Center, Division of Fossil Primates. There were around 30 students who came to the program, and some had participated in this same event last year. Prithijit explained how and where various fossils were formed and found. My exhibit had many fossils from NC and other sites displayed on two tables. The kids guessed what they were as I described each to them. Then they came up to our tables in smaller groups to match other fossil fragments or teeth with the complete fossils or jaws on the tables. There were some potential paleontologists in the class who were really good at finding the corresponding fossil. Others were already planning on becoming doctors or scientists.
 
After that, everyone was given a baggie of reject material from PCS that had at least 30 fossils mixed in with it. The kids sorted through the material to find the various sharks teeth, shells, ray plates, bryozoa, coral, fish vertebrae, and other fossils. Each one got an ID sheet with photos of the fossils and a magnifying lens to help out with the identification. They were thrilled that they could keep the fossils and everything else for future explorations. Everyone had a lot of fun, and many fossils were found by all."

Organizers: 
Trish Kohler
 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 06/07/2014
 
 

Discovery Place in Charlotte celebrated World Ocean Day Saturday, June 7, 2014. The North Carolina Fossil Club was invited and were prominently mentioned as part of the day's program. Dr. Alton Dooley, Virginia State Museum, gave a talk about a whale collected in Maryland. Dr. Dooley is the paleontologist who is studying the fossilized whale found during a drought at Lake Waccamaw State Park, NC. Dr. David Campbell, a reviewer Fossil: Mollusks, Volume II now being prepared for release through the CDROM Project, was there to show Mollusks. Ruffin Tucker and Joy Herrington set up displays. Ruffin was a hit with marine fossils from Aurora, Edisto Breach, SC and nearby Stanly County where he collected Ediacaran fossils, the oldest fossils found in North Carolina. Joy, assisted by husband Bob, had a display of NC fossils which included a free fossil jar of sharks teeth donated by Ken Young. The donated teeth were a huge hit and a group of girls in pink in celebration of receiving the teeth posed for a group photogaph. In another photograph you will see a Mom listening to whale songs while Dr. Bob claimed the attention of the child - once a Pediatrician - always... A speaker from the Blue Whale Conservancy spoke to this gathering and arranged delivery of a blow-up Blue Whale to be displayed at the street festival which was going on outside. This was a big day in Charlotte. Speaking as a displayer who had little time to see the sights, carts met us at the door to unload, parking was free and convenient, lunch was provided, and volunteers came to relieve or assist. We were well taken care of. Juliann Chavez made sure we were.  According to Julian, who is in charge of the event,  we had 1200 visitors. 

 
Trip Date: 
Tue, 03/18/2014
 
Location: 
 

The NCSO Fossil Frenzy competition lived up to its name; it was truly a frenzy, as first-time events tend to be. Not only was this the first year that the test was being given, it was also the first school at which the test was being administered for the 2014 elementary school competition. However, after several breathers in the chaos and locating everyone who had graciously volunteered, we managed to get the fossils on the tables, questions face down, timers in hand, and encouragement on our faces by the time the kids walked into the classroom. Pretty soon we were trying not to laugh as they worked hard in pairs to solve the problems placed before them, each one of them acting like the future paleontologist they had the potential to be. One boy in particular was by himself and worked just as eagerly as the others to finish. We were thrilled to see how well he and all of the children did on the tests, and it was a very close competition. All of the school performed fairly, honestly, and well in their categories, and good spirits abounded, especially during the awards ceremony. Overall it was a great event that encouraged fossil education for young ages (and for the adults writing and administering the tests), and personally I look forward to seeing it improve and expand over future years.

Organizers: 
Joanne Panek-Dubrock
Emily Bruff
 
Trip Date: 
Wed, 06/12/2013
 
 

On Wednesday June 12, 2013, Charlie and Pam Causey gave a fossil presentation for the Archdale Public Library near High Point.  It was at the Archdale Recreation Center and was part of their summer reading/enrichment program entitled "Dig into Reading." 
There were approximately 125 kids and adults in attendance. Their presentation lasted approximately 25 minutes with an additional 10-15 minutes for questions and answers.  After that, everyone got a close look at fossil displays as they filed by the tables on their way out. Many of the questions showed that the kids were quite knowledgeable about fossils, science and dinosaurs.  Questions ranged from "What was the oldest fossil we had?" to "Are there any fossils in the Archdale area?"  Charlie and Pam had talked about body fossils and trace fossils, and one little girl asked if jelly fish fossilized. Charlie told her that was a great question, because he just happened to have an impression of a jelly fish (Linda McCall had brought one back from the Texas trip). When the presentation was over, one girl (4th or 5th grader) came up with her mom and younger siblings and asked "What made the dinosaurs go extinct?"  Charlie was telling her about the Chicxulub asteroid and its consequences, when her little brother said, "Unh, unh...the cave men killed them!"  At that point it was time to call it a day.

Organizers: 
Charlie and Pam Causey
 
Trip Date: 
Fri, 06/07/2013
 

J Y Joyner Elementary School in Raleigh invited members of the North Carolina Fossil Club to take part in their annual Science Go Round activities on June 7, 2013. Third graders enjoyed the hands-on experience offered by Joanne Panek-Dubrock and Joy Herrington who set up fossil displays in their classroom. Parent and volunteer involvement is commended for making this exposure available and for providing such a bountiful lunch to the presenters.

Trip Date: 
Sat, 05/04/2013
 
 

 The Museum of Life & Science invited members of the NCFC to help out with their Shark Tooth Hunt for 3 weekends in April and early May. Twelve club members volunteered many hours of their time helping kids find and identify sharks teeth and other fossils. Four lucky diggers found the gold painted sharks teeth that won them a 4 inch Meg tooth. There are still several "gold" teeth waiting to be found! Everyone had a great time as ID guides and earth movers. Hunting in the PCS reject material was a pretty good substitute for going in the mine itself. Three train car loads of Pungo "dirt" were transferred to the Museum. It should last for several years, so head on out there and find some sharks teeth to add to your collection.

Organizers: 
Trish Kohler
 
Trip Date: 
Sun, 04/28/2013
 
Location: 
 

Norwood is in Stanly County, NC. The town advertises itself as a quiet community at least an hour away from any metropolitan area but on April 27,2013, it was not so quiet. Music, food, planes in formation, vendors, cars, fossil displays and a fossil dig created a lot of commotion. Ruffin Tucker, a member of the North Carolina Fossil Club, organized the fossil activities and town leaders supported him by providing all that we needed to make the day enjoyable.

James Bain brought seives, shovels, and water-washing equipment, and with assistance from Mary Boulton and local volunteers, showed the crowd how to find treasures in the reject dirt from Aurora, NC. Indeed, a treasure was among the early morning finds - a rarely found symphyseal cow shark (Notorhynchus) tooth.

Nearby, Ruffin, Jonathan Fain, Richard Chandler, and Joy Herrington talked about their displays and helped identify what was coming out of the dirt pile. Mastodon and wooly mammoth fossils were displayed by Vince and Judy Schneider, and Patricia Weaver of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The Museum staff and members of the North Carolina Fossil Club made sure that big things happened in the usually quiet town of Norwood at their 20th anniversary of the Arbor Festival.

Organizers: 
Ruffin Tucker
 
 
Trip Date: 
Fri, 04/05/2013
 
Location: 
 
Trip Date: 
Sat, 03/30/2013
 
 
 
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