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Savanna GEAR UP students tour the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology

3/11/2019

WILBURTON, Okla. (March 11, 2019) – Thirty-two GEAR UP students from Savanna recently traveled to Oklahoma City to tour the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology. The museum is a unique, one of a kind educational experience that focuses on the form and function of the skeletal system with hundreds of skulls and skeletons on display from around the world.

The tour began with an introduction to osteology given by Museum Manager Kathryne Thorne. She explained the difference between extant which is still existing and extinct which is not existing. Thorne explained the process of cleaning and assembling the skeletons. She showed the students a current carcass being cleaned by flesh eating beetles and discussed the use of hydrogen peroxide in the cleaning stage.

The tour continued with a scavenger hunt designed to help the students investigate the various specimens at the museum. During the hunt, students had to find the skeletons of tiny creatures such as mice or hummingbirds. In addition, they search for the skeletons of large animals. The museum displays the 2,400-pound skeleton of a 40-foot long humpback whale that hangs from the ceiling. This specimen is considered to be the most complete humpback whale specimen in North America; every single bone is original.

After touring the museum, students took part in an Animal CSI class led by Thorne. Students were introduced to the world of forensic sciences and learned how to identify pathologies. The classroom lab was divided into four stations where Thorne led students through the process of examining the evidence of trauma and disease on actual animal bones. Then each team communicated their findings with their peers.

“This museum visit was a great experience for our students,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Denise Lovell. “These educational opportunities may spark a new hobby or interest for the students and maybe even a new career.”

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.



While exploring the Oklahoma SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology, Kathryne Thorne, museum expert, discusses the pathology of bones with Savanna GEAR UP students Colin Lester and Daniel Howell.


Jaelyn Lindley, an eighth grade Savanna GEAR UP student, stops for a quick lesson in the Explorer’s Corner at Oklahoma City’s SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology.


Seventh and eighth grade GEAR UP students from Savanna pose in front of an African bush elephant housed in Oklahoma City’s SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Michael Clifton, Daniel Howell, Colin Lester, Lane Martin, Jaedon Dan, Levi Franklin, (back row) Tyler Franklin, Ayden Fry, Hunter Harmon, Cody Horn, Hayden Moore, Ethan Roloff, and Garrett Tollett.

Savanna GEAR UP student Candace Jewell proudly displays the bones she examined during her CSI experience at the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology.


Seventh and eighth grade GEAR UP students from Savanna pose in front of an African bush elephant housed in Oklahoma City’s SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Anna Franklin, Allie Hartin, Kylie James, Rory Marlow, Destiny McCoy, (middle row) Kayleigh Post, Lily Adams, Sierra Bigelow, MaCala Clifton, Mercey Douglas, Candace Jewell, (back row) Jaelyn Lindley, Emily Martin, Bridget Pogue, Mahli Rogers, Courtney Smith, Alexis Walton, Abigail Whorton, and Maigan Wilson.


Savanna seventh and eighth grade GEAR UP students Candace Jewell, Kayleigh Post, and Destiny McCoy search for scavenger hunt answers at the SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology.

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