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Jefferson County Windward Students Dig for Mastodon Bones


Danell Mackey
Jefferson County Windward Students Dig for...

Smiles, shovels, and lots of mud were on this week’s learning agenda as students of both the Port Townsend and Sequim locations of Windward School spent the week digging for mastodon bones on a Chimacum farm. Led by teacher Elisa Weiss, the students spent the week before the field trip learning about geology and fossils, and gathered to further their education by searching for real life treasures at the farm of a friend of the school.

The bones were discovered over the summer when the landowner began excavation for a pond. He kindly gave permission for Windward students to access the dig and put in a few hours making their own discoveries. “One of the great things about these being mastodon bones is that they’re relatively young,” said Weiss, a lead teacher with Windward School. The bones are estimated to be as young as 10,000 years old. Weiss plans to integrate the students’ discoveries into class discussions next week that focus on what life was like for animals and people in our region 10,000 years ago, and how humans can affect species’ existence over time.

For more information about the Chimacum mastodon dig, or other inquiries, please contact the NW Discovery Lab. office@nwdiscoverylab.org 360-385-3803

Teacher Elisa Weiss talks to students about the bones already uncovered, with Zeke Banks, 9, observing. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

Students, family, and teachers from Windward School start the dig in Chimacum. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

From left: Ruby Groussman, 8, digs in a trench for bones, with help from Yemma Kubica, and Matilda Shaw, 5. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

Ruby Groussman, 8, holds a mastodon tooth that she unearthed. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

Zeke Banks, 9, holds a shard of bone that he found in Chimacum. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

 

Students hover over a dig site where a mastodon bone is being unearthed. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

Ellis Coyan, 6, holds a molar tooth from a mastodon. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

Evan Mackey, 12, holds up a mastodon molar tooth to emphasize the size. Photo credit: Danell Mackey

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