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Here's what drew a bunch of teachers from New York City to Western New York for a few days

Posted: 5:48 AM, Aug 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-06 07:41:59-04
Group of New York City teachers visit Penn Dixie Fossil Park to dig for fossils and engage students

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — A group of paleontologists from New York City decided to visit Penn Dixie Fossil Park in Hamburg on a fossil digging field trip, aimed to engage their students.

This field trip came a result of a five-year professional development program through the American Museum of Natural History called "Earth-science Reciprocal Learning Year." It provides funding for paleontologists to come back each summer to collect fossils.

"We forget that underneath all that cement is this amazing record of our history," said Melanie Hopkins, the museum's associate curator, "and we can learn by going to that record trying to figure out what was living when, and how that changed, and why."

Hopkins is currently studying trilobites, which are extinct marine arthropods. She thinks they may provide clues as to how animals respond to climate change.

Many of the teachers brought back chunks of rock for their students to break apart in class.

The goal here is to help Earth Science teachers enhance their curriculum with resources and digging experience.