Pittsburg GEAR UP students learn about bone identification & the forensics of bones


WILBURTON, OK (May 11, 2016) – Eighteen Pittsburg High School GEAR UP students recently toured the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City.

The adventure at the museum began as Museum Education Coordinator Polly Jelly directed the students to the education room where the students participated in a 30-45 minute science education class explaining bone identification and forensics of the bones. Each table had a set of animal bones to identify, and each group had to use the data and the bones to solve the mystery of to what type of animal the bone belonged and how the animal died.

The Museum of Osteology was opened in 2010 by Jay Villemarette, who had a passion for science and preserving animal skulls. He opened a private business in 1990 and by 2000 the company had to relocate to its current location due to company growth. He currently holds one of the largest privately–held collections of osteological specimens in the world.

The students completed the science project and were given time to look at the collection of specimens in the museum. The museum houses over 300 skeletons from tiny mice to a 40–foot humpback whale.

One corner of the museum, “Explorer’s Corner,” featured a hands–on exhibit with over a dozen real animal skulls for students to handle and explore. Students also examined human skeletons of different sizes.

“This is a really cool museum and a lot neat exhibits to see!” exclaimed Pittsburg sophomore Mandi Barron.

Students visited the gift shop and returned to the busses. They traveled to Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant in Bricktown for lunch. Then they walked around Bricktown looking at the sites before boarding the bus for the return trip to Pittsburg.

“This was a great field trip,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Natalie Kennedy. “The Museum of Osteology is amazing. The students really enjoyed viewing the bones and learning how to identify them. It was a wonderful educational field trip.”

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 or educational in nature.

Pittsburg GEAR UP students explore the Museum of Osteology. Pictured are: Front row: D. J. O’Dell, Sayven Rowland, Anthony Shields, Jevan Preciado, Tanner Horn, Fallon Scott, Shawna Stiles, Jenni Turner and GEAR UP Education Coordinator Natalie Kennedy. Back Row: Tyler Sullivan, Kyler Burchfield, Nathan Labor, Jennings Powell, Blane Rice, Mandi Barron, Kenneth McCarroll, Gavin Roberts and Dakota Pollock.

Pittsburg sophomores Mandi Barron and Tanner Horn pose next to the woolly mammoth skeleton at the Museum of Osteology.

Pittsburg students identify skeleton bones during the science class at the Museum of Osteology are Tyler Sullivan, Jennings Powell, Nathan Labor, Anthony Shields and Fallon Scott.

Pittsburg GEAR UP sophomores Gavin Roberts and Sayven Rowland identify skeletal bones at the Museum of Osteology.

Back to News Listing