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paleopalooza graphic with stegosaur

2020 Highlights

Stay tuned for details on Paleopalooza 2021!

Plug in to the world of dinosaurs and other ancient creatures with a week of digital Devonian discoveries and computerized Cretaceous content! From Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 25, join us on Zoom and Facebook to celebrate all things paleo, from inverts encased in amber to the modern cousins of ice age animals. Download new dinosaur activities and watch exclusive videos, tune in to talk with real scientists, learn about fossils from all over the world and see specimens from the Academy’s behind-the-scenes collections. Most digital activities are free; Zoom programs require free registration but may be limited in the number of attendees.

Ask the Scientists: Ancient “-Ologies”
Co-hosted with the Penn Museum

What does a paleontologist study? What does an archaeologist do? Why are there no mummies in Jurassic Park? Why doesn’t Indiana Jones have dinosaurs? Join us to find out the REAL who, what, where, why and when of your favorite “-ology,” paleont- or archae-! Meet scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Penn Museum, and “dig up” why two scientific studies with similar techniques may be totally different. Featuring Ted Daeschler of ANS and Megan Kassabaum of the Penn Museum.

Ask the Scientists is a fun, interactive program where kids lead the conversation! While kids of all ages are welcome, adult assistance is recommended to enable virtual questioning.

Ted Daeschler, PhD, is a vertebrate paleontologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. His research interests are centered on vertebrate fossils from the Late Devonian Period (390 to 360 million years old), including the origin of limbed vertebrates. This research program includes fieldwork in Devonian-age rocks in Pennsylvania, the Canadian Arctic and Antarctica.

Megan Kassabaum, PhD, is an archaeologist and a curator at the Penn Museum. She excavates at prehistoric Native American sites in the southeastern United States, especially those at which past people constructed large, earthen monuments called mounds. Her studies of these sites examine questions of ritual and religion, food and feasting, and the use of ceramic technology.

The Daily Bone
Facebook Live

There are millions of cool fossil specimens at the Academy, representing the tiniest insects to the most gigantic dinosaurs of the ancient world. Learn about rare fossils and the scientists who study them at this daily interactive meet-and-greet. A new fossil will be featured each day for you to ask questions about!

A Shaker of Science
Zoom; Pay-What-You-Wish with registration

Join us for a virtual live happy hour and unwind with Academy invertebrate paleontologists as they share stories of science and adventure.

We are digging into the past with the Academy’s Invertebrate Paleontology experts for a virtual happy hour! Forget about fossilized bones — it’s time to see what the Academy’s collection of a million plus fossilized exoskeletons exposes about Earth’s history. Pour yourself a cocktail, sit back and join us for an insider’s look at what it takes to collect, curate and share a key component to understanding our planet’s past. No need for bug spray on this expedition!

Academy Seminar: Virtual Fossil Field Trip
Zoom; Free with registration

Join Academy paleontologist Katy Estes-Smargiassi to explore the unique fossils of the Kettleman Hills in California right from home. Using cutting edge GigaPan photography, learn about the geology and paleontology of this area and discover how you can become a supporter of this awesome research.

The Academy Seminar is an opportunity to showcase our Academy staff, scientists, students, visiting researchers, and all of the work that they do. All members of the Academy community are invited: staff, students, volunteers, and with our move into the virtual world, members and guests. Talks are aimed at a general audience, are generally around 30 minutes and are followed by 25-30 minutes of questions and discussion with the group.

Paleo Playdate
Zoom; Free with registration

Join Eddie the T. rex and other young dinosaur fans for story time and discussion with an Academy paleontologist. Whether you’d like to learn more about dinosaurs, fossils or becoming a paleontologist, our experts will be ready to answer your questions! Paleo Playdate was developed for preschoolers and their families, but everyone is welcome to join this fun discussion led by the children.

Zoom; Free with registration

Grab some clay or Model Magic, or whip up a batch of easy salt dough (recipe here!) and build a dinosaur along with Academy Educator Amy Hoyt. Learn how dinosaurs were perfectly adapted to their environments and how their anatomy helped them survive or doomed them to extinction as you mold a dinosaur with your own hands. Send us pictures of your creations! We’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @acadnatsci.


Digital Downloads and Videos

Want even more great Paleopalooza content to enjoy on your own time? Check out brand-new Science from Home activity sheets featuring experiments, crafts and science explorations you can do right from home. Enjoy a virtual tour of our awesome ammonites and a video of paleo art techniques. And don’t forget to engage with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We want to hear all about the dinos you love! @acadnatsci


Science From Home Activity Sheets


Virtual Tour Videos

Vertebrate Paleontology: Fossils of Pennsylvania