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.