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8th Grade Students Dig into Science

posted Sep 19, 2014, 9:18 AM by Jon Nesbitt   [ updated Sep 19, 2014, 12:01 PM ]

Eighth grade students in Mrs. Flattum's, Mrs McAree's and Ms. O'Donnell's science classes got an up close look at microfossils from an archaeology dig at the Hell Creek Formation in Montana. The students learned how data is collected and helped researchers at the dig categorize the fossils by identifying what animals they came from. 

Students participated in program called Dig Field School, that puts an actual research project by University of Washington paleontologist Greg Wilson in school classroomsResearchers at the dig are studying a layer of soil at the boundary of the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods (about 66 million years ago) to learn more about what might have happened during a major extinction event that occurred after an asteroid collided with Earth.

The students separated tiny fossils from rocks using archaeology tools and then examined the fossils under microscopes. Then students compared the real fossils to images of fossils from a variety of animals that lived during the Cretaceous Period, and recorded the types of animals the fossils might have been in notebooks.