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McAlester 6th grade GEAR UP students visit the Museum of Osteology in OKC

5/24/2018

WILBURTON, OK (May 24, 2018) – Thirty-eight McAlester GEAR UP students recently traveled to Oklahoma City to visit the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology. Students were welcomed to the museum with multiple skeletons in the lobby area. Inside they divided into two groups. One group participated in a scavenger hunt of the museum exhibits while the other class moved to the classroom for an “Animal CSI” lesson.

From comparative anatomy to classification to adaptation and locomotion, SKELETONS has been designed with learning in mind. Currently displaying over 300 skeletons from all corners of the world, visitors have a unique opportunity to compare and contrast many rare species normally not seen in museum exhibits. In addition, the museum features a variety of North American specimens ranging from tiny mice and shrew skeletons to a 40-foot humpback whale.

While participating in the scavenger hunt, students discovered over 700 specimens within the museum. Skeletons were categorized by scientific characteristics in various viewing cases. Each student was given a questionnaire to find 13 facts within the displays. They learned many facts about animals based on the info on each exhibit. For example, one fact they found was about horned lizards warding off potential predators. They also saw the skeleton of the longest venomous snake in the museum, the king cobra.

After students completed the scavenger hunt, they learned about forensic pathology in the “Animal CSI” class. Education Specialist Sam Abbott taught students about forensic pathology. Pathology is damage that may be the result of trauma, disease or infection. These pathologic conditions might tell you if the animal was hit by a car, shot by a gun, died from a disease or was killed by another animal. After learning the various types of pathology to look for, students were able to examine bones and make conclusions about the animal’s life and cause of death. Some specimens they looked at were a skunk head that had been infested with a parasite and an elk scapula that had a fatal bullet wound.

“The ‘Animal CSI’ class was so neat! The museum staff puts on wonderful educational activities that are fun and keep students engaged in learning,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Rachael Ranallo.

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. Eastern recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.

“We all remember our own field trips as young students and the impact they had on us,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Denise Lovell. “Students in the GEAR UP program are encouraged to explore life beyond the classroom and to experience new pathways.”


Students pose under the African Elephant in the Osteology Museum. Pictured are: (front row, left to right) James Ragan, Jasmine Holman, Jia Chen, Camry Gilbreath, Aiden VanDeren, Jasyn Stewart, Taylor Jones, Jacob Martin, (middle row) Jaeli Aguilar, Riley Lane, Xayvion Curtis, Mackenizie Weeden, Payton Bigham, (back row) Havyn Rupp, Payton Davis, Armani Montgomery and Jordan Kimbrough.


McAlester GEAR UP students participate in the “Animal CSI” class. Pictured are: (table one) Aaron Murray, Xavier Wright, Tanner Jones, Cameron Graham, Hayden L Jones, Logan Killingsworth, Baylee Weeks, (table two) Brynlee Ham, Haley Daniel, Jayce Lardi, Faith Cockerhan, Kylee Shelton, (table three) Shawn Painter, Osteology Museum Education Coordinator Sam Abbott, Kaylee Ashley, Sierra Drake.


McAlester students study the pathology of a deer mandible and goat cannon bone. Pictured are Camry Gilbreath, Havyn Rupp, Jaeli Aguilar, Osteology Museum Education Coordinator Sam Abbott, Riley Lane and Jasmine Holman.


McAlester students study the pathology of a domesticated dog. Pictured are Esly Aravalo, Jia Chen, Mackenizie Weeden, Jasyn Stewart and Xayvion Curtis.


McAlester GEAR UP students study the pathology of an elk scapula and coyote tibia and fibula at the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology. Pictured are Logan Killingsworth, Baylee Weeks, Aaron Murray, Xavier Wright, Tanner Jones, Cameron Graham and Hayden L Jones.


McAlester GEAR UP students investigate an elk scapula that had a fatal bullet wound. Picture are Riley Lane, Camry Gilbreath, Jasmine Holman, Teacher Pamela Barnett, Havyn Rupp and Jaeli Aguilar.


A group of McAlester 6th grade GEAR UP students study the pathology of a goat cannon bone and deer mandible. Pictured are Shawn Painter, Ostelogy Museum Education Coordinator Sam Abbott, Sierra Drake and Kaylee Ashley.


McAlester 6th graders who attended the field trip to the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology are: (front row, left to right) Kaylee Ashley, Jia Sing Chen, Jaeli Aguilar, Sierra Drake, Esly Aravalo, Payten Davis, Hayden Layman Jones, James Ragan, Jasyn Stewart, Primus Moore, Xayvion Curtis, Riley Lane, Melanie Suarez, Aleida Alvarez, (middle row) Jasmine Holman, Brynlee Ham, Baylee Weeks, Jayce Lardi, Shawn Painter, Aiden VanDeren, Xavier Wright, Haley Daniel, Camry Gilbreath, Mackenizie Weeden, Havyn Rupp, Faith Cockerhan, (back row) Kylee Shelton, Laney Lewis, Autumn Richey, Jordan Kimbraugh, Aaron Jacob Murray, Hayden Taylor Jones, Armani Montgomery, Payton Bigham, Logan Killingsworth, Nathan Tanner Jones, Jacob Martin and Cameron.


McAlester GEAR UP students study the pathology of a skunk skull and baboon femur. Pictured are Jayce Lardi, Faith Cockerhan, Kylee Shelton, Aleida Alvarez, Primus Moore, Brynlee Ham and Haley Daniel.


McAlester 6th grade GEAR UP students study the pathology of a domesticated dog. Pictured are Aiden VanDeren, Jacob Martin, Jordan Kimbrough and Payton Davis.


McAlester GEAR UP students study the pathology of a skunk skull and baboon femur, Pictured are Payton Bigham, Taylor Jones, Armani Montgomery, Osteology Museum Education Coordinator Sam Abbott and James Ragan.

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