Summer Youth Classes – Day 1; Session 2

Our second set of Summer Youth Classes was held Monday afternoon. These classes were on a variety of cool art and science topics, such as:

  • Earth Alert: Natural Disasters
  • Pequeno Pecassos
  • Creatures of the Night
  • Diggin’ Up Dinos
  • Abstraction Action
  • Fashion Studio

Our campers did a lot of great hands-on activities while learning some valuable knowledge about all these subjects.  Check out the pictures to see the kids at work!

Our Fashion Studio students learning all about style

Gearing up to make a masterpiece

Making an abstract work of art

Making craters with different sized meteors

Learning how to be a fashionista

Future Picassos discussing their art

Which animals sleep all day and play all night?

Bat, owls, and mice are active at night

Hm, what is abstract art?

Piecing together Pangaea

What can supercontinents tell us about our past?

Constructing volcanoes

Getting ready for eruption

Showing us how Picasso uses different shapes in his art

Putting together shapes for Picasso-like paintings

Consulting about a new clothing line

Post-eruption, cleaning up the "lava"

These classes were a great end to our Monday. Let’s see what fun activities we do tomorrow!

Bizarre Prehistoric Beasts – Day 3

On our last day of camp we learned all about the crazy critters that lived in the Cenozoic Era.  This included things like bear-dogs, big-bad pigs, and sling-shot nosed rhinos!

We started with a 300 piece puzzle that was divided into envelops and given to the students in small increments… oh, and they weren’t allowed to see the picture on the box!  It was used to represent the challenges paleontologists face when piecing back together the geologic record.  You don’t always have all the pieces, and you don’t always know what the outcome will look like.

The first round of envelops is distributed

Teamwork was a vital part of completing the puzzle!

Working hard to complete the picture

Next, different picture cards of bizarre animals were given to each student, and they had to tell us some of the facts about that animal.

Carcharodon megalodon - a giant prehistoric shark

Students then removed their cast from the T. rex molds we made yesterday and started painting them to resemble real fossils…

Carefully painting the tooth cast

Some fossils were brown...

Painting with great concentration

Almost done...

For our final activity, students learned how to construct a field jacket–the giant plaster egg-like container that holds the fossil while in transport from the field to the lab.

Cleaning off real fossils!

Make sure you get all the dirt off

Next, toilet paper is applied with water to cover the fossil to act as a barrier between the plaster and bone.

Sticking the toilet paper to the bone

Covering all the exposed fossil with TP

The toilet paper is then covered with strips of burlap soaked in plaster. This will harden and protect the fossil from any bumps or bruises it may encounter along its journey back to the lab.

Covering the TP with plaster and burlap

Smoothing the surface of the field jacket

Applying the final strips of burlap

This camp was so much fun to teach, and hopefully students had fun learning all about the crazy creatures of Earth’s past! I hope to see many of these campers back for our other summer camps in July when we partner with the National Ranching Heritage Center next door!

Questions about Kids Programs at the Museum of TTU?
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Junior Einsteins – Day 4

Today was our last day of summer camp.  We learned about the role of a biologist, animal habitats, and camouflage!

We started the morning by matching animals to their correct habitats, and then looking at the skeletons of different critters:

Where does a polar bear live?

What does a starfish feel like?

Wow, that polar bear has some sharp teeth!

That's much bigger than my skull!

Holy cow, that's a big cow!

Is it smooth or rough?

Next, we visited the Natural Science Research Lab where Heath showed us all the different insects, mammals, and birds the biologists study:

Those beetles are bigger than my hand!

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

Checking out the bald eagle!

Birds and mammals everywhere

Next, we learned all about camouflage and how animals blend in to their habitats to avoid being eaten

Can you find the frog?

We then went outside to see which worms camouflage into the Lubbock landscape

Find the worms!

Can you see them?

To finish up the day, we headed over to the Ranching Heritage Center for a nature walk and scavenger hunt:

Do you see something green?

Can you draw a tree?

Finding something old...

Finish your drawings

We had so much fun all week learning about space, animals, dinosaurs, and chemistry! Hopefully we’ll see all the campers again soon! 🙂

Biology of My Backyard – Day 2

Today we learned all about mammals!  We discussed the characteristics of mammals–body hair, ability to regulate their own body temperature, give live birth.

Reviewing the insect life cycle from yesterday

Feeling the teeth in a cow skull

What sharp teeth you have! (polar bear skull)

Learning the differences between carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores

Carnivore or herbivore?

Comparing the bob cat skull to the cougar

Learning all about molars, canines, and incisors

We then learned about camouflage, so we acted like birds looking for worms (bits of string). We quickly learned it was easier to find the bright colors instead of browns and yellows 🙂

Where are the worms?

Still searching...

We finished the day by discussing habitats and learning what basic needs animals have in order to survive.

Where do these animals live?

Putting animals in their correct habitat

Everyone was given an animal to build a habitat for… this varied from monkeys to iguanas to toucans!

Creating our own habitats

Future biologists building habitats

Lush rainforest for the toucan

African savannah for the lion

Busy builders

Habitats almost complete

Great habitat for an elephant... even a cave!

Jungle complete!

Lots of fun with skulls and habitats! Tomorrow is all about birds!