On the News | The Fossils Are Old; The Scientists Are Young @ Education Week

On the News @ Education Week


The Fossils Are Old; The Scientists Are Young


Credit: Education Week

“How old does a student have to be to do real science?  In early February, 150 students in the, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades at Los Angeles Summit Prep charter school began study small fossils from the famed La Brea Tar Pits Museum.

The tiny fossilized remains of plants, rodents, invertebrates, and reptiles are called microfossils, and they help professional researchers understand ancient ecosystems.  The tar pits are best known for the large animals that were caught in the sticky petroleum that still oozes near Wilshire Boulevard.  But the mirofossils tell scientists about the environment that mammoths and saber-tooth cats lived in. (At left, students at work sorting and identifying microfossils.)

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Summit Prep students are the first of local schools to help excavators gather microfossils and other specimens to determine what lived in the area during L.A.’s ice age. In October 2016 Summit Prep teachers attended a day-long training at the Tar Pits Museum in which they learned to sort and identify microfossils. These teachers also helped the museum develop accompanying materials and lesson plans aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards to ensure that the program acts as an effective complement to classroom learning.” (…) READ MORE

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)