Y.A.L.E. School News

Unearthing Better Social Skills

Paleontology social skills groupStudents from The Y.A.L.E. School’s Cherry Hill Campus took part in a unique social skills program coordinated through the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Using a high interest activity – in this case, paleontology – Philadelphia area psychologists Dr. Eric Mitchell and Dr. Carol Moog taught the students social cooperation and problem solving. Working alongside a paleontologist from the Academy, students met for eight sessions at the museum where they learned about geology, how to find fossils, how to prepare and pack for a field study, how to get fossils safely back to the museum, how to prepare fossils for study or display, and how to use casts and molds. They even got a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the museum’s collections.  

“We incorporated different types of activities, some that required team work—such as putting up a tent or putting together a fossil puzzle—and others that focused on individual work,” said Timshel Purdum, Director of Education and Lifelong Learning at the Academy.

As a bonus, each student received a family membership to the museum.

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