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Teaching Resources

Fossil Preparation from Field to Museum

STEM Subject

Fossil Preparation 

National Middle School Science Standards

Earth ScienceLife Science  

Key Terms:

fossil, paleontology, collection, curation, preparator   

Key Concepts:

  • Finding fossils in the field
  • Securing fossils for transport
  • Cleaning and preparing fossils 
  • Interpreting data contained in fossils
  • Technology used by fossil preparators

Resource Types:

Associated Experts

Smithsonian Collections Manager Matthew Miller uses an air scribe to clean off vertebrae from the tail of a Ceratosaurus dinosaur. Photo by Michelle Pinsdorf, Smithsonian.Smithsonian Collections Manager Matthew Miller uses an air scribe to clean off vertebrae from the tail of a Ceratosaurus dinosaur. Photo by Michelle Pinsdorf, Smithsonian.
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RESOURCES ABOUT FOSSIL PREPARATION

Webcasts and Podcasts
Printable Lessons
Online Activities
Science Literacy Resources
Posters and Worksheets
Websites
Videos
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NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)

The Fossil Preparation teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

Earth Science

MS-ESS1

Earth's Place in the Universe
  • MS-ESS1-4Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history.

MS-ESS2

Earth's Systems
  • MS-ESS2-2Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.
Life Science

MS-LS4

Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • MS-LS4-1Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • MS-LS4-2Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

MS-ESS1, MS-ESS2, MS-LS4

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Paleobology collection manager Kathy Hollis standing next to a large Triceratops obtusus fossil. Storage shelves behind her.
Kathy Hollis
Paleobiology Collections Manager
Catharine Hawks behind and touching two open white drawers and three closed ones of mammal specimens.
Catharine Hawks
Conservation Specialist
Museum specialist in geology Steve Jabo sitting on a boat with a t-shirt, shorts, and hat on rowing down a muddy river.
Steve Jabo
Museum Specialist in Geology
Tags: fossil

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