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47-Million-Year-Old Fossil

Last month, CNN and National Geographic reported on a 47-million-year-old fossil discovered in the Messel Pit in Germany, in 1983. The fossil, described as small-cat sized, was of something that has been pinpointed as a predecessor of humans and primates, an animal they've determined would have grown to the size of a lemur. Though the initial discovery happened more than two decades ago, the fossil has been privately held. Last month's report in PLosOne followed two years of intensive forensics study on the primate fossil led by Dr. Jorn Hurum, Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo.

For many students, two years of intensive analysis may sound like a long time to study a set of bones. These bones, of course, are 47-million years old, and the circumstances of their discovery initially masked the fact that the fossil represents a critical splitting point in the evolutionary chain.

To introduce classes and students with a paleontology, genomics, or forensics bent to the concepts and processes involved in evaluating such fossils, check out these Science Buddies science fair project ideas:

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


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We go DIY with molecular gastronomy and family science as we make our own popping boba using the Spherification Kit from the Science Buddies Store.

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An unusual caterpillar brings lots of "eeeews!" and one contribution to a citizen science project. Discover how anyone can collaborate on serious scientific research.

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UC Berkeley Professor Dan Garcia talks about the kind of "drag-and-drop," block-based, snap-together programming environments that are becoming increasingly popular as a way to introduce students of all ages to code.

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With a smorgasbord of fun, engaging, playful, and puzzling modules available as part of the Hour of Code initiative, kids can experiment with programming basics and sample Javascript, Python, Ruby, and more.

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The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest gives U.S. secondary public schools a chance to use STEM to help address problems affecting their students and communities--and a chance at a share of $2 million in technology.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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