Digging History at the Natural History Museum


As a culminating activity for our “archeology” year, the MAC class headed out to the San Diego Natural History Museum on June 9th to dig into more learning… Armed with reflection “tools” (journals and colored pencils…), our student scientists dug up clues and new understanding at the Fossil Mysteries exhibit and Water: A California Story. As a special treat, we also had the opportunity to attend the 3D show, Dinos Alive!

Check out student reactions to the field trip (and scroll down for photos!):

I never knew Ghost Ranch is the best place to find dinosaur bones.              ~ Sebastian

Some of the information was disturbing and surprising–like the pollution on Imperial Beach–and other information was amazing–like how we can find out where certain dinosaur bones came. ~ Mallory

In the water exhibit, I was surprised that the whale’s mouth bone was 27 meters long! ~ Max

 From the Dinosaurs Alive! movie, I learned some areas where bones have been found. ~ Eva

 When I was upstairs, I was surprised how big the model of the Megaladon shark was! ~ CJ

 I thought the loan library was really cool, because it displayed real animals that were stuffed (taxidermied) ~ Nina

I was surprised to learn how big a spider crab can grow! ~ Teagan

I learned that in “wet years” tree’s rings are thick and in “dry years” they have very thin rings. ~ Elke

I was surprised in Fossil Mysteries that there was a rock with shells embedded in the rock. ~ Noah

It was cool that people found Mammoth bones when people were digging to build Petco Park. ~ Eli

It was fascinating that archeologists have only found under 2% of total the dinosaur bones thought to be in the earth. ~ Clara

It stood out to me that the Harlin’s Ground Sloth was about twice as big as me and it stood on the ground rather than climbed in the trees. ~ Beau

I learned that the long-neck dinosaur swallowed rocks to digest his food.    ~ McKinley

I was impressed that they had so many specimens in the museum. ~ Tosh

In the water exhibit, there was a mountain lion and I read the information. It talked about water and that they need a large amount of water to survive. ~ Sophie

I was surprised that the loan library had a gigantic hawk! ~ Diego

In the fossil exhibit, I was surprised that some of the bones there were 3.5 million years old! ~ Carly

In the Dinosaur Alive! movie, it looked like I could just touch the fossils, because the movie was in 3D. ~Beckham

I couldn’t believe it when I saw the manatee’s bones formed fingers under their blubbery skin! ~ Bronte

It was really sad to see a photo of an albatross baby who ate a lot of trash on a beach in Hawaii and died because of it. ~ Benji

I was really shocked to know there was a dinosaur that the Effigia wasn’t really a dinosaur at all, it was actually in the reptile family. ~ Grace

I was shocked to see pictures of how much trash is on the beach right here in San Diego! ~ Paul

I was surprised to see how realistic the animals in the loan library looked after they got stuffed. ~ Evie

I think it was interesting in the movie Dinosaurs Alive! to see the size, strength, and speed of different dinosaurs! ~ Brit

I think it was amazing how many fossils were in the fossil exhibit! ~ Sasha

I was surprised that some horses were already extinct and Europeans brought them back. ~Gabriel

In the Dinosaurs Alive! movie, they said if you wanted to find more recent dinosaur bones, you’d have to go to Mongolia, and if you wanted to find old ones, you’d have to go to New Mexico. ~ Ana

In the loan library, there were innumerable taxidermy animals; some in embedded in plexiglass and others were in plastic containers. ~ August

I thought it was interesting that in the water exhibit, a three-gallon bucket of water was so heavy! ~ Cori

In the loan library, there were innumerable specimens that interested me, like the golden eagle, the roadrunner, and the foxes. ~ Carden

In the loan library, I was shocked to see a baby harp seal and a baby deer specimen. ~ Sofia

 In the loan library, there were innumerable specimens, like sea turtles, arctic foxes, and scorpions. ~ Jack

I was surprised in the loan library to see how realistic the animals looked.  ~ Stella

It was really cool when I got to see how the jaws move. ~ Rex

I looked at the sunburst diving beetle (in the water exhibit) and he was really fast! ~ Rylan

In the Fossil Mysteries exhibit, I was surprised to see water animals. ~ Joe

I saw a kind of clock called a pendulum, it knocks over a piece of wood each hour. ~ Darius

I was amazed to see how big the Woolly Mammoth was! ~ Gabby

It was striking to see blue, lustery feathers on this humming bird in the loan library. ~ Ryan

I noticed that there were some crocodiles and some dinosaurs, and I saw the crocodile’s tail (in the Dinosaurs Alive! film)   ~ Elmer

I was surprised in the water exhibit when I saw some beetles move; they were alive! ~ Edie

When I was looking around in the loan library, I saw a bobcat, and I was very surprised that they found one. ~ Dylan

writers scientist photo 2 photo 1Outside the NAT

Jack and Tosh explore

tree rings with Noah 

3-D glasses