Dinosaur Day, put on by the Texas Energy Museum, is an educational program featuring outdoor activities where children ages 3-10 learn about dinosaurs and how fossils are found and studied. Activities include talks by professional "dinosaur hunters," making huge papier-mâché dinosaurs, searching for real fossils and hands-on, creative activities.
Under the direction of Lamar University Earth Science students, participants will search for fossils by washing excavated dirt through screens. Smaller specimens may be viewed through microscopes, and previously discovered fossils will be exhibited. Commonly-found fossils have included teeth from early mouse-like mammals and prehistoric shark’s teeth. Children can assist paleontologists clean dinosaur bones and learn the field techniques for removing large fossils from dig sites.
Every visitor can help make and paint huge papier-mache dinosaurs and excavate their own dinosaur replica from a “fossil-pit”. Children's take-home activities include making paper rubbings of fossils, creating a stegosaurus hat, casting fossilized shells, and making fossil replicas. Dr. Jim Westgate, Professor of Geology at Lamar University, will present information on “dinosaur-hunting” and help identify fossils brought by visitors.
Neches River Adventure Tours will conduct guided “Dinosaurs on the Neches” tours of the nearby Neches River aboard the Ivory Bill. Information on the paleohistory of the river system will be given while visitors relax on the 40 passenger pontoon boat. Visitors must pre-register on site for the river tour that will be offered for Dinosaur Day at a special discounted price.
Funded by ExxonMobil, Dinosaur Day is open free of charge to the public (except for the Neches River tours); parents must accompany children. Participants may shop in the Dino Store where dinosaur related games, toys and books will be available for purchase.