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The Times
  • Second graders visit Herkimer Community Museum

  • Dinosaur fossils were on everyone’s mind at the Herkimer Community Museum during a Herkimer Elementary School class visit on Tuesday afternoon.

    The second grade class of 19 students visited the museum to get a better understanding of dinosaurs and fossils as they begin to learn about the prehistoric time period.

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  • Dinosaur fossils were on everyone’s mind at the Herkimer Community Museum during a Herkimer Elementary School class visit on Tuesday afternoon.
    The second grade class of 19 students visited the museum to get a better understanding of dinosaurs and fossils as they begin to learn about the prehistoric time period.
    Museum on-site coordinator Deb West said the class is one of many Herkimer school district classes that will visit the museum this spring. “Throughout the spring several classes and area districts will visit the museum on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” she said.
    As for the public, West said the museum would celebrate its second year grand re-opening on Sunday, May 5.
    Herkimer Elementary School second grade teacher Martha Hugick said the students are beginning a unit learning about dinosaur fossils. “The students really enjoy being here and it’s great because they get to see how big the dinosaurs were and they can actually see the fossil replicas, so it makes it very exciting for them,” she said.
    As the students entered the museum they were split up in groups to explore the different parts of the museum. During their tour the students saw replicas of several dinosaur bones and fossils, and even took part in an on-site dig to search for fossils.
    The students listened and watched in amazement as tour guides explained each piece.
    Retired Herkimer Elementary School teacher Claudia Gloo volunteers as a docent at the museum. Throughout the tour Gloo explained each of the artifacts within the dinosaur exhibit. She led the students to a dinosaur skull showing them teeth still intact.
    “The Allosaurs is a cousin to the T-Rex, so they were both carnivores and had about 50 teeth with a serrated edge that allowed them to tear through meat with ease while they ate,” said Gloo.
    After learning about fossils the students had the opportunity to take part in an archeological dig and search for buried fossils.
    Herkimer County Community College student intern Florence Ansah said everyone loves to dig for fossils because they get to play.
    Herkimer Elementary School second grader Deyana Verenich said her favorite part of the museum was searching for fossils. “I really like the long neck dinosaur so I’m trying to find fossils that look like the long neck,” Verenich said.
    Herkimer Elementary School second grader Cole Wheet said, “I want to be an archeologist, but I don’t want to be the one to put the bones back together.”
    Wheet’s second grade classmate Michael Ray said, “It’s not too hard to put the fossils back together, you just have to be patient. It’s like putting together a puzzle.”
    The students also saw the Egyptian exhibit which houses many replica artifacts found in the tombs of well-known pharaohs.
    Page 2 of 2 - Retired Remington Elementary School teacher Margaret Stoffolano also volunteers as a docent at the museum. While giving the students a tour of the Egyptian room she explained the life of King Tut, the youngest pharaoh to rule Egypt.
    “King Tut ruled for ten years and died at age 19. Once a person died, the Egyptians believed they went on to their next life,” said Stoffolano. “King Tut was mummified and placed in a large tomb which held all of his precious belongings that would be brought into his next life.”
    To give the students a better understanding Stoffolano also pointed out photos on the museum wall that showed the inside of the king’s tomb.

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