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. firstname.lastname@example.org 360-385-3803
Paul Schiefen helps daughter Lucca hold a large mastodon bone, with son Jack looking on. Photo credit: Jordan Schiefen
Windward parent Jordan Schiefen admires the mastodon tusk dug by students and teachers. Photo credit: Paul Schiefen
Careful digging of the mastodon tusk in Chimacum WA by Sequim’s Windward School students. Photo credit: Paul Schiefen
Teacher’s Assistant Nicole Terry of Sequim helps to oversee the dig in Chimacum WA. Photo credit: Jordan Schiefen
Windward parent Katy Bowman helps a young student carry a large mastodon bone. Photo credit: Julie Lawrence
Farmer talks to students about mastodon bones. Photo credit: Julie Lawrence
Finn Curran, 7, carries a mastodon bone out of the dig site to be cleaned and examined. Photo credit: Julie Lawrence
Students, teachers, and families of Windward School from Clallam County. Photo credit: Julie Lawrence