Dino Dan videoconference at the Natural History Museum

By Rachel Hayward | 10 February 2009
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A screenshot of a website showing a man holding a toy dinosaur in his hand.

Dino Dan will talk about dinosaurs and science. Courtesy Natural History Museum

Dino Dan has been exploring the attic and found things including a skull and a fossil that belonged to his grandfather - a famous 'dinosaur hunter' called Roy Chapman Andrews. Using the story of the Oviraptor, Dino Dan will explain how scientists named this dinosaur, what an object can tell us just by looking at closely and the fact that scientists change their ideas based on the evidence that has been found.

This is just one of the free, highly interactive and fun videoconferencing workshops for your key stage 1 and 2 pupils from the Natural History Museum.

An image of a woman holding a clock and an owl puppet

Circadian Sam at the National History Museum. © Natural History Museum

For more fossils and a pioneering woman too, your class can 'meet' Mary Anning. She was the 19th century fossil hunter who discovered the first Ichthyosaurus at the tender age of 10. Mary Anning will tell your class all about fossils - and the different kinds she found in Lyme Regis where she grew up. It's part of what's called the Jurassic Coast. Then the children can find out how fossils give us clues about an animal's appearance and habitat.

An image of a woman holding a basket and peering at a fossil

Mary Anning at the Natural History Museum. © Natural History Museum

How does the bat find its way in the dark? Why can an owl fly so silently? How do bees tell each other where to find the best nectar? These are just some of the questions Circadian Sam will be going over with your class. And with puppets and props to help her, there's bound to be lots of enjoyment along the way to learning about nocturnal and diurnal (daytime) animals.

The Natural History Museum's Formal Learning Programme Developer, Lara Zane, speaks of videoconferencing as a very positive experience for schools: 'Children love interacting with the characters and asking them lots of questions. They are so proud, in turn, when they're picked to give an answer to questions the character has for them. I had an email recently from a teacher who particularly wanted to mention the way that a child who usually struggled in class had responded so enthusiastically to the videoconferencing session.' Lara adds, ' Videoconferencing really helps the Natural History Museum to widen its reach to schools. They can't always get to us but we can get to them. An example is Armed Forces families in Germany. We've had successful videoconference link ups with service schools out there.'

More details about the videoconferencing sessions offered and how to book are on the Natural History Museum website.

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