Newspaper articles featuring
Dinosaur Discovery

Rutland Herald - Sunday, February 17, 2008

Photo by Sarah Hinckley

Quint Hansen, 6, fills in the outline Saturday of an Ichthyosaurus as his father Rich Hansen paints in the background. The pair were attending a Dinosaur Discovery event at the Chester-Andover Elementary School in Chester hosted by The Nature Museum at Grafton.

Boning up on dinosaurs

Kids discover 'fossils' at Chester School

By Sarah Hinckley, Staff Writer

Quint Hansen, 6, made a great discovery at Chester-Andover Elementary School on Saturday – dinosaur bones.

Hansen, who was visiting his grandmother for school vacation, and his dad, Rich Hansen, decided to spend the morning digging up some fun with the folks from Dinosaur Discovery. Seven children, accompanied by adults, attended the activity designed for primary-age children.

"It's too cold to snowboard, so this is a great activity," said Rich Hansen of Coopersburg Burough, PA.

Dinosaur Discovery owners Nancy and Glenn Walker, of Unity, NH, were instructing the morning event sponsored by the Nature Museum at Grafton.

Nancy Walker began creating and hosting dinosaur activities when her son was in second grade. He is now 28 years old.

Photo by Sarah Hinckley

Rachael Temple-McCade sits back to inspect her work after putting together the skeleton of an Ichthyosaur.

"Kids all love dinosaurs," said Walker, sporting a pair of earrings with a Monoclonius hanging from one ear and an Ankylosaurus from the other. "At some time in their life they all get into dinosaurs."

The bones used for the discovery exercise are made from chipboard, according to Walker. They piece together like a puzzle and range from 25 to 34 parts. Three of the skeletons, the Hypsilophodon, Protoceratops and Ichthyosaurus, are life size. A fourth, a Tyranosaurus Rex, is carved at quarter scale.

"I used to cut them out with scissors and poster board, now I cut them with a laser," said Walker. "I've gotten a bit more professional."

She brought an assortment of dinosaur books the children looked over to get ready for their own discovery. With brown paper bags in hand the children scattered into the school hallway to "dig" for their bones, which had been set out in piles for collection.

"Nobody knows what it is when they put it together," said Glenn Walker about the different types of dinosaurs. "It's a two-dimensional puzzle made from a three-dimensional picture."

After collecting his pile of bones, Austin Wood, 5, carried his prized sack into the gym, emptied it out on a piece of white paper and began connecting the pieces. As the ribs came together and the block-shaped head was placed at what appeared to be the front, Wood was pretty sure he knew what was forming.

"T-Rex, I think," said Wood, who was being assisted by his parents Diane and Dan Wood, all of Guilford.

Quint Hansen, who was wearing a dinosaur T-shirt, put together an Ichthyosaurus. Although it is not listed as a dinosaur the animal lived underwater during the same time period. Finding the flat bones in the hallway did not deter Hansen from where his imagination traveled.

"We found this fossil somewhere in a caveman's cave," said Hansen, tracing the skeleton with a crayon onto the white sheet of paper beneath.

Photo by Sarah Hinckley

Margo, director of The Nature Museum at Grafton, works with her son, Elijah, 5, of Saxton's River as they work on putting together the skeleton of a Hypsilophodon dinosaur.

Once he finished the outline, he wasn't ready to pick up the bones right away.

"I want to play with it for awhile," said Hansen, grabbing onto the bottom jaw bone of the puzzle and swinging it nearly 180 degrees. "I think that it might have been able to open its mouth this far."

The final project of the day for the participants was to paint the outline, however they wished. Hansen started with blue.

"I'm painting it blue because I'm pretty sure it was blue for camouflage," he said about the underwater animal, before going to get white and red for the creature's teeth. "Red teeth (because they) haven't been cleaned since his last meal."

Across the room Rachael Temple-McCabe, 5, paints her Ichthyosaurus red with polka dots. Miranda Todt, 6, the only other girl in the group is painting her Protoceratops pink and adds purple polka dots as a final touch.

"Unfortunately we do see mostly boys," said Walker. "So, it's good to see girls.

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