To celebrate, we here at Student’s Discover, and especially me the resident paleontologist, want to give a quick update on the incredible results that middle school kids have already made on the Shark Teeth Forensics project through the Paleontology and Geology lab at the Nature Research Center, NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
First, I need to give a huge “Wow, I’m impressed” to the three Kenan Fellows teachers working on this project (Kimberly, Kerrie, Juliana) because they’ve transformed their middle school classrooms into real deal research teams. And second, I need to shout out another huge, “Wow, I’m impressed” to the students, because they have managed to exceed all of my expectations about what scientific data can be acquired by young adults. (2015 students, be warned — the bar is really high now!).
So far, the lessons that each of the teachers created over the summer and implemented in their classrooms this fall have worked pretty well. In total, students have discovered several hundred shark teeth in just under two hours of classroom time spent searching buckets of sediments collected from the Aurora, NC mine. Additionally, they have measured many different dimensions of the teeth and plotted size vs. frequency histograms. New discovery alert: each histogram recorded by students is a fantastically normal distribution around 5-6 mm in tooth size…Not what I was expecting!!