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July 6, 2010 > Math/Science Nucleus summer activities

Math/Science Nucleus summer activities

Submitted By Laurey J. Hemenway
Photos By courtesy of Joyce Blueford

This summer from July 7 through August 25 the museum will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Come for a 1 1/2 hour presentation from 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. that includes a thirty minute presentation on the Ice Age and a scavenger hunt through the museum. Those that complete the scavenger hunt win a prize.

The history of Fremont goes back long before Europeans wrote the first historical account of the redwoods or the Spanish settlers set up their missions. It goes way back before the Ohlone Indians hunted and gathered along the banks of Alameda Creek. If you go back to over a million years ago, there were no people in Fremont, but there were many animals that thrived here and died here. How do we know? We have the fossils to prove it!

In the 1940s, in a rock quarry, in a small, rural town called Irvington, Wes Gordon, a high school science teacher and amateur geologist, introduced some of his students to paleontology. Over the next decade these boys, who came to be known as the Boy Paleontologists, uncovered so many Ice Age fossils dating from 1.8 million to 300,000 years ago that this time period came to be known as the Irvingtonian Era, after the small town that would later become part of Fremont. These fossils are considered some of the finest ice age mammal fossil specimens ever found and some of them are on display not far from where they were discovered all those years ago.

The Children's Natural History Museum, managed and operated by the Math Science Nucleus, houses a large part of the fossil collection started by Wes Gordon and the Boy Paleontologists.

Visit the museum and see the fossils of mammoths, sabertooth cats, mastodons, dire wolves, giant sloths, short-faced cave bears, camelids, western horses and many other creatures that roamed Fremont over a million years ago. See the newest addition to our Ice Age mammal collection, a life-sized sabertooth cat replica skeleton. Also on display at the museum are rocks and minerals, a natural history collection, a planetarium, and a microscope lab.

The museum has many hands-on activities, including a fossil dig.

Children's Natural History Museum
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
4074 Eggers Drive, Fremont
(510) 790-6284

Members, $5 per child, adults are free
Non-members $7 per child and $2 per adult
No charge for 2 years or younger.

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