North-Central Section - 39th Annual Meeting (May 19–20, 2005)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 1:20 PM-5:20 PM


MCINTIRE, Andrea M., Department of Geological Sciences, Wright State Universitiy, Dayton, OH 45435 and CARNEY, Cindy K., Geological Sciences, Wright State Univ, Dayton, OH 45435,

Students love learning about fossils. The best way to teach fossil concepts is by hands on experience in the field collecting. However, new experiences such as fossil collecting/identification can leave students feeling overwhelmed. A fossil identification guide of the most common taxa found in a locality is an excellent site specific resource to promote active learning.

A portion of a new city park near Fairborn, Ohio (Oakes Quarry Park) has been designated for research and education in geology. The Early Silurian Brassfield Limestone was once quarried at this site for cement production. The Brassfield formation at this park is unique in that the preservation of organisms is excellent for fossils of this age. The fossils found in this park include well preserved specimens of crinoids, corals, stromatoporoids, bryozoans, brachiopods, mollusks, trilobites, and several kinds of trace fossils. Fossil specimens can be collected from the 8 meter highwall and numerous spoil piles with in the park.

A new guide was developed that includes pictures and a description of the most common fossil specimens found in the park. Digital photographs of specimens as well as fossil sets will also be available for K-12 teachers to use while teaching their students about fossils. At the park students will use a hands on, problem solving approach to identifying the fossils with the help of the guide and their peers.

Development of resources such as this fossil guide and fossil activities for this park is important for teaching students and the public about local geology. Learning about the fossils at the park will allow students to imagine what Ohio was like in the past and get a picture of what the sea floor may have looked like during the Early Silurian time.