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Written by: Krystal Davis
Friday October 2, 2015

Curators and staff wait for the first group of students to arrive.  Photo by N. Moncrief.
Curators and staff wait for the first group of students to arrive.  Photo by N. Moncrief.

Curators and staff recently attended the Southern Virginia Career Choice Expo.  Modeled after Southwest Alabama's Worlds of Opportunity, Career Choice exposes students to hands-on activities by inspirational adults to ignite students' imaginations to unlimited career opportunities in Southern Virginia.  Career Choice showcases existing job opportunities so that students will have an option to stay in the region, based on an informed career decision with a clear understanding on skills needed, education levels required, and salaries they can expect.  More information about the expo can be found at http://www.sovacareerchoice.org/.

The students were able to visit two tables from the museum.  The first table contained replica fossil teeth and palates of animals.  The students were asked to look at the examples of the replica teeth and determine the animal that it came from.  The examples included mammoth, mastodon, horse, cow and pig.

Liberty Hightower talks to students about fossil teeth and palates.  Photo by N. Moncrief.
Liberty Hightower talks to students about fossil teeth and palates.  Photo by N. Moncrief.

The second table contained fossils of teeth from mammoth, mastodon, megaladon, and crocodile, along with bones from an ancient baleen whale, a ground sloth, a giant beaver, a giant bird, an Eoraptor, and a coral.  Students were asked to look at photos of each animal and find the correct fossil that matched the picture.

I spoke with the students about fossil teeth and bones of many different animals.  Photo by N. Moncrief.
I spoke with the students about fossil teeth and bones of many different animals.  Photo by N. Moncrief.

Both of the activities were very well received by the students and they were excited by the things they were able to learn about the fossil animals.  This is the museum’s second year participating in the SOVA Career Choice Expo.  The Research & Collections division was able to interact with approximately 800 students over the course of the two-day event.  The students who participated in the expo attend middle and high schools located in Danville, Martinsville, Pittsylvania County, Henry County, Patrick County, and Halifax County.

Dr. Jim Beard jokingly explained to every student that the large bone from the giant bird is the same bone found in today's chicken wings.  Photo by N. Moncrief.
Dr. Jim Beard jokingly explained to every student that the large bone from the giant bird is the same bone found in today's chicken wings.  Photo by N. Moncrief.

Tags: Krystal Davis, Outreach, Research and Collections

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