November Fossil Fun

For science enrichment the kids were given a bunch of fossils to break out of rocks back this past November just before Thanksgiving. Each of the kids were able to break open large pieces of shale rock purchased from the You Dig Fossil Quarries down in Delta Utah. The rock was shipped to Maple Lake and it was split out so that both schools could participate in the activity. 

The fossils that the kids were looking at were trilobites from the Cambrian Period of geologic time (540 million years ago). During this time Utah was covered by an inland tropical sea which allowed for a multitude of shallow marine organisms to live and thrive in the warm waters because the North American Continent was right on the equator.

A map of what the world looked like during the Cambrian. North America during that time was a continent called Laurentia and was right on the equator.

The kids were able to break open the shale rock to get to the fossils using hammers. The kids got to learn how geologists and paleontologists break open rocks to find fossils and what different types of fossils can tell us about the geologic past. When the activity was over the kids got to keep their fossils in their supervisor bin so that the fossils can be brought home over the holiday break.

Fossils laid out on the work bench in the woodshop.
One of the students holding up their fossil at the Boy’s school.
One of the girls proudly showing their fossil to the science teacher.

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