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July 2, 2013 > Summer adventures: Space to Prehistoric

Summer adventures: Space to Prehistoric

Submitted By Joyce Blueford

Looking for a fun, educational, local, but inexpensive learning experience for your children? A maze of rooms with different activities and exhibits at the Children's Natural History Museum in Fremont, inspires children to explore and learn about our past environments. The museum is geared for families with children that are 4 and older. They get to touch real fossils and bones by learning through a hands-on approach. There is even a small dome where children can see the nighttime sky during space week.

This summer, dedicated high school students have been trained to be docents. They will guide families through the exhibits. Our major exhibits are the fossils in the Wes Gordon Fossil Hall which includes Ice Age Columbian mammoths, sabertooth cats, short faced bears, dire wolves, camels, western horses, sloths and pronghorn antelopes found in the Irvington District of Fremont. We even have a dinosaur room with activities for the little ones. There is even a mock dig in the "Boy Paleontologist" room.

Other exhibits include the Hall of Stars, Miller Stardome, Hall of Minerals and Rocks, Nature Hall, Shell Hall and Hall of Small Wonders. Families can take a self guided tour for $3 per person (children under 3 are free). Members of the Math Science Nucleus are free. However, during the summer we are having a special theme every week so children can spend more time making projects that they can take home. The price for "Make and Take" with the Docents is $5 per child which includes admission. For members it is $3 per child.

Themes include:
Explore the Museum-Designed for people who have not seen the museum. Look at the different halls and find certain items. Complete the entire Scavenger Hunt and earn a prize. Make a shell necklace and make a sand card to look under microscope.

Prehistoric Animals - Look at the different organisms that lived in the San Francisco Bay Area: Mammoth, Sabertooth Cat or Tyrannosaurus; excavate prehistoric bones; and find a fossil shark tooth.

Exploring Space - Look at the different constellations in the Miller Stardome and make a constellation chart, phases of the moon chart, and Big Dipper finder.

Tools from Rocks - Look at different types of rocks and determine which one makes a good tool. Make an arrowhead spear, a rock chart; compare obsidian and chert.

These events are on Tuesday and Thursdays from 1-4 pm. For a complete list of dates and times plus other activities, visit: http://msnucleus.org. The museum also has week-long science camps for different ages.


Children's Natural History Museum
4074 Eggers Dr., Fremont
(510) 790-6284
www.msnucleus.org

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