Midpark High School biology students have traveled back in time to investigate microfossils of the Santa Barbara basin. Thanks goes out to Mindi Summers and her Cal-Echoes team for allowing students all the way in northeast Ohio the opportunity to connect with the marine environment. Unfortunately it’s not an opportunity we consistently have.
Our Midpark students, following a protocol designed by Dr. Dick Norris Professor of Paleobiology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, were given the opportunity to search for and identify fossils from the depths of the basin. The thrill of the hunt was obvious from the start. I was a bit hesitant about how enthusiastic my students would be about going elbow deep in muck. As soon as those first anxious students dove in, everyone was hooked. To my surprise it was the student’s I least expected to get enthralled in the lab that truly did.
One of the most important aspects of science education for me is to create experiences that students would otherwise miss or never experience. It’s so important to pull back the curtains of science for our students to see what’s “back there.” Those moments are ones that I don’t forget, and certainly our students don’t either. It is, in fact, those moments when a student falls in love with science, sees the world a little different, passion to want to know about the world start to grow and maybe starts a path for their future . I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to give my students yet another way for those interests, and passions to start to grow.
I want to personally thank those involved for allowing this to happen, and helping connect the world to my students. I’ve included a small video below that shows our students in action during the microfossils lab.