January 31, 2005

Museum offers sessions on fossils

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Fossil fanatics take note: With the spring thaw will be three Saturday morning classes on hunting and caring for your favorite ancient objects.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale's University Museum will offer separate sessions on three successive Saturday mornings. Sign up for as many as you wish.

Classes are for kids ages six-14 accompanied by an adult. Admission on the fossil hunts is $20 for a child/adult pair and $8 each for additional children in the family. Individually, adults may attend for $12.

Register now by calling the museum at 618/453-5388. Dress for the weather and bring a sturdy goodie bag to tote your take.

It's all part of the museum's Learning Adventures series. Here's the schedule:

• 9 a.m. - noon, March 26. "Fossil Hunt 1: Exploring the Prehistoric Jungle." Meets at the University Museum before embarking on a fossil dig for prehistoric plants and critters near Carterville.

• 9 a.m. - noon, April 2: "Fossil Hunt 2: Creatures of the Ancient Ocean." Starts at the University Museum and continues with a search for prehistoric sea creatures near Vienna.

• 10 a.m. - noon, April 9: "Making a Fossil Collection." Meets in the museum. Learn to preserve, organize and display your fossils. Free for fossil hunt participants; and only $5 for others.

Hosting such enrichment activities is one of the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, a long-range plan SIUC is following as it prepares for its 150th birthday in 2019.