August 5, 2013

Educating teachers at the mammoth dig site

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Area teachers had a chance to learn at the mammoth dig site in Mahaska County on Friday.

Teachers from Oskaloosa, Albia and New Sharon were among those who had a chance to do some hands-on learning at the site.

Dave Brenzel, of the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, helped oversee work at the dig site on Friday. He said education is one of their “number one missions” at the site and that having educators there would benefit the students they teach.

“This is our way of reaching 25 kids at once for every teacher,” explained Brenzel.

Laura De Cook, a naturalist with the Mahaska County Conservation Board, agreed that it was important for area teachers to see the site for themselves.

“To see it and to do it is a personal experience that they can share with their students,” De Cook said.

She explained that teachers have the opportunity to connect to programs she's able to offer about the mammoths themselves.

Actually venturing out to the site will foster interest and understanding about the mammoths among area educators who go there, noted De Cook.

“So, it's just a good connection that we have,” said De Cook.

Mary Jane Sullivan, a retired fifth- and sixth-grade science teacher from North Mahaska Schools, said it's important to take experiences from the dig site back to students so that they may experience it, as well.

“I think it's amazing to see what things were on this Earth so many years ago,” Sullivan said.

Brenzel said work at the mammoth site would continue through the fall this year, as long as weather permits.


Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.