High School Science Camps: Paleontology

BySternberg Museum

High School Science Camps: Paleontology

Sternberg Paleontology Camp

July 16 – July 28

The Sternberg Paleontology Camp is for students who seriously enjoy the great outdoors and paleontology! We will spend nine days exploring the paleontology and natural history of Kansas out in the field camping. Students will get to investigate the paleontology and ecology of ancient Kansas that once included forests of ferns, and a sea of sharks, flightless birds, and immense marine reptiles! Along the way, we will also visit a Miocene fossil site called Minium Quarry, famous for its prolific mammal and plant fossils. During fieldwork, students will learn how to find and collect fossil material as paleontologists do, using the same tools as professional researchers. Students will learn to take field notes, use GPS units, map and compass skills, and proper methods of fossil collection to preserve as much information as possible.
VIRB Picture
The SPC students will also spend four days working at the Sternberg Museum and at Fort Hays State University, in a laboratory portion of the camp. During this labs portion, students will be staying at the
FHSU dorms under the supervision of Museum education staff. At the Sternberg Museum, SPC students will learn about fossil preparation and museum fossil collections. Techniques and training in fossil prep will be hands on, working with collected fossils and professional tools. Students will also be introduced to critical concepts and techniques in modern paleontology through guided exercises and discussions. We will also visit the comparative anatomy lab at FHSU to explore the evolution of the vertebrate skeleton.
Overarching themes of the SPC will include critical thinking skills, use of the scientific method, understanding the process of biological evolution through natural selection, applied geology, ecology, and generating an informed argument through the use of evidence. The SPC is designed to be an immersive learning experience for students interested in biology, geology, or paleontology. Our goal is to make sure any student planning to pursue a career in life or earth science will leave our camp with relevant, practical skills and knowledge in both scientific disciplines.
Fees are $1240 per member, and $1380 per non-member.

‘We found that the camp brochure, photos, video, and reviews of the High School Paleontology Camp provided an excellent overview of what my son experienced. In fact, the camp exceeded our expectations by providing a supportive environment where he could experience the rigors of an actual paleontology field dig and fossil prep in the lab – all while working side by side with students with similar interests. David Levering and the museum staff were excited about providing a robust, interesting experience and it showed. An aspect of the camp experience that especially impressed my son was how the camp presented a comprehensive picture of what it takes to be a paleontologist. Throughout their daily activities and nightly reviews, campers and staff discussed the academic coursework, field research, and advanced degrees required. This information was especially valuable coming from the grad students and professors working shoulder to shoulder with them. This was truly an unexpected but much appreciated benefit of the camp! Your camp provided the challenges and instilled confidence which sparked the conversations that he’s sharing to this day. Thank you!’

Beth Noll (parent)

Students hard at work excavating a fossil mosasaur skull.