Kits and Lesson Plans:
Over many years Robert Drachuk has contributed pictures of fossils
and provided paleontological consulting to the Fossil Museum.
He has generously contributed many fossil specimens to science.
He has also long been a supplier to companies that sell fossil
kits to the educational community. Recently, he decided he could
produce better kits at a better value, and built his own website,
Fossils. Now, the Workforce Development for
Students and Teachers Unit of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
(PNL) has developed teacher’s
lesson plans designed around Robert’s fossil
kits. In science, this is known as collaboration, and VFM commends
both Robert and PNL. Robert tells us that he has only just begun
developing a line of fossil
kits ranging from the general for primary-age students,
to thematic kits for more advanced classroom activities in secondary
schools and beyond. Good luck Robert! Every kid should get to
have a kit of traces of past life that they can touch and feel.
This would foster an understanding of the inextricable linkages
of all living things today, and how fragile life can be on a planet
earth they will be custodians of all too soon.
the growing list of the fossil museum contributors:
Mike and Gwynn Shafer
Dan Damrow, paleontologist
Glen and Barb Rockers
Arkadiy Alexandrovich, paleontologist
Mary Lou Browning
Rick and Tanya Hebdon
Kong Li, Ph. D.
Weida Tong, Ph.D.
Dr. Marlene Garo
Sam Gon III, Ph.D.
Ramblin Ralph Cooper, Geologist
Dr. Alexei Kouprianov, Entomologist
Alf Behrens, Geologist
Robert E. Woodruff, Ph.D., Taxonomist Emeritus
from the end of 2007: Yikes, these are a bit overdo!
from the end of 2006: About
Science Progress, Time’s 2006 Person of the Year, Science
Blogs and Palaeos
from the end of 2005:
a period of stasis, The Virtual Fossil Museum (VFM) is radiating.
Equilibrium is being punctuated by a plethora of selective pressures,
not the least of which is an eclectic coterie of contributors. Amateurs
and pros, doctors and sanitary engineers have put the lonely webmaster
months behind the content. Natural selection will also result in
metamorphosis of some sections, and evolutionary convergence of
styles in other sections.
constancy will be the ever-growing inventory of fine pictures of
fine fossils that even the makers of this site drool over. Moreover,
based on popular request, actually perpetual prodigious numbers
of requests, the VFM added a large image section during 2005, and
will continue to get and add large images whenever possible.
also decided, since we are after all a grass roots and ad hoc undertaking
by an all-volunteer consortium, to let most sections be available
as they are being built, revised, edited and augmented; this makes
the site easier to build and edit, when all can see it as it evolves.
All should be proud of being recognized in the Netwatch section
of the prestigious journal Science
in the June 17, 2005 edition.
the last six months of 2005, the VFM had nearly 3000 visits per
day during weekdays, some two-thirds from students from elementary
school, high school, and undergraduate college, as best can be determined
from the server statistics data. The website is integrated into
curricula at many schools. As of early January, 2006, there were
images of more than 400 fossils awaiting addition to the site; thus,
2006 will be another year of growth for the VFM.
- the Webmaster