GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 365-7
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


LOPEZ, Leilani1, VILLANUEVA, Destinee1, VAN NATTA, Danielle1, GONZALEZ, Cristina1, DIAZ, Ana1, HENDY, Austin J.W.2, ESTES-SMARGIASSI, Kathryn2 and WALKER, Lindsay J.2, (1)STEM Teacher in Advanced Residency, California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1000 E Victoria St., Carson, CA 90747, (2)Invertebrate Paleontology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007,

The Invertebrate Paleontology collection at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (NHMLA LACMIP) has partnered with the STEM Teacher in Advanced Residency Program (STAR) at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) to create a classroom outreach project that meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD). LACMIP received an NSF CSBR grant in 2016 (NSF DBI 1561429), which largely focuses on the curation and digitization of the museum’s marine invertebrate collections from the Cretaceous of California and Baja California. The outreach deliverables stipulated in this grant largely focus on the theme of ammonite form and function. Initially, this theme was central to LACMIP’s public outreach at large museum events (NHMLA’s Nature Fest, Dino Fest) through hands-on activities geared toward the museum’s youngest visitors (preK-5).

In keeping with this theme, five pre-service teachers from the CSUDH STAR program interned with the LACMIP collections and designed lessons suitable for K-2nd and 3rd-5th grade classrooms during July 2017. Collectively, these lessons comprise two grade-appropriate ammonite-themed units that are tailored to meet the “Engineering Design” Next Generation Science Standards. These lessons will ultimately be incorporated into a classroom kit, “Cretaceous in the Classroom”, and will include 3D printed ammonites created from actual specimens in the LACMIP collections. Lower elementary students will learn about counting, measurement, estimation, timelines, species, habitats and environments. Upper elementary students will learn about measurements (length, width), species, hydrodynamics, momentum, velocity, expository writing (introductory scientific writing), how fossils inform engineering and technology today, and the steps of the scientific method. Having teachers contribute the lesson plan ensures that NGSS are being met so that these kits can have practical classroom application and relevance; having professional paleontologists contribute their knowledge, as well as fossils, to this project ensures accuracy and credibility to the science informing each lesson.