Our first few posts here on Paleoaerie have discussed what we are about, why and what we are planning. Over on Facebook, we’ve discussed a lot of things that may be of interest to readers. We have discussed how to reach kids, why teaching how science works matters to everyone and certain TV shows and books that don’t think so or do it badly, as well as some that do it well. We noted interesting goings-on at the Museum of Discovery.
We found informative videos and free online courses on dinosaurs, evolution, the genetics of evolution, and human evolution. We found fossil databases, museum collections, and maps of the earth through time. We examined software available to teach science methods and concepts, use 3D modeling in class, upcoming TV shows, Next Generation Science Standards apps, as well as discussing the use of iPads in class. We found a request for scientists willing to work with classes. We even found card games of interest and the Whirlpool of Life.
We’ve covered the evolution of weird sharks, giant viruses, early mammals, and the earliest eukaryote. We learned about tyrannosaurs and why they weren’t scavengers, how dinosaurs grew feathers, lost their tails evolving into birds, what is and is not a dinosaur, and using dinosaurs to teach anatomy. We learned about exhibiting extinctions and what they mean to ecosystem health, surviving them, as well as de-extinctions. We learned when teeth evolved, the use of half a sucker, how carnivores become herbivores, and the evolution (or not) of intelligence. We learned about the role of chance in evolution and the haphazard way evolution builds things. We met Mouseunculus and found out just how big a billion really is.
We saw science art, art and science, and art in technology. We talked about Darwin and Wallace, asking scientists about their research, and the process of science correcting itself. And that’s not all.
We’ve said a lot, but a communication is not a one-way street. I’ve referred to Paleoaerie as “we” many times. Thus far, it’s mostly been “I” that has done the communicating. But let’s change that dynamic. Every couple of weeks or so, we will have Forum Friday. What’s a forum, you ask? Forums were originally a “marketplace or public square of an ancient Roman city” (Merriam-Webster). But more importantly, they were places people gathered to discuss things of interest to them, or simply just to converse and connect with others. Paleoaerie is more than what I bring to it. To really work, others need to contribute. Forum Fridays is a designated space for you to tell me what you want to see, what you want discussed, provide feedback and discussion on topics presented during the week. So let’s talk. I have one simple question: What do you want? (I promise, my name is not Morden, it will turn out better that it did for Ambassador Mollari).