by the webmaster: It is too bad that in the U.S. the citizens
are becoming increasingly scientifically challenged. While we
still reign in technology, and have the finest universities
in the world, we are steadily falling behind in education, generally,
and in scientific and mathematical education, in particular.
The U.S. now imports most of its scientists. The last decade
has also seen political hostility to science. Teachers often
operate in budgetary austerity, sometimes needing to shell out
from their own pockets for education materials.
this environment, a person such as John Obrien is truly refreshing.
He has been providing school kids, scouts, and pediatric hospital
patients throughout Central California with free fun and educational
fossil programs for the past five years. The program, known
as Fossils for Kids is an interactive and enjoyable approach
to teach the children the basics of Paleontology and the fun
and exciting hobby of fossil collecting. Each child also "finds"
several fossils during an activity at the end of the program.
This has been such a successful endeavor that it has spawned
an extremely entertaining website also known as www.fossilsforkids.com.
are excited that John has joined the Virtual Fossil Museum (VFM),
to lead new site development aimed directly at the kids and
teachers out there. We plan to provide an array of off-the-shelf,
printable and online resources for use in the classroom. Please
come back frequently and watch us grow. Also, e-mail
your ideas for this development directly to John. Better yet,
let John know you want to join the VFM's efforts. Finally, we
are soliciting donation of fossils that can be used directly
by John in his fossils for kids program.