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Sierra College Dinosaur Day draws thousands

By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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On Sunday afternoon, 2,000-plus guests walked the sidewalks and hallways of Sierra College for the 2018 Dinosaur Days Science Festival. 

The event welcomed visitors of all ages from children with their parents to seniors who have had a lifelong love of prehistoric times.  Regardless of age, the guests enjoyed a day filled with learning and laughter and stories to tell.

The interactive event, that was explosive at times, benefits the Natural History Museum and provides fun and educational activities for families. Visitors enjoyed live animal shows, stargazing in Sierra’s planetarium, watermelon explosions, fun physics and chemistry presentations, face painting and various hands-on projects.

Among the many interactive activities was the creation of “Dino slime,” decorating dinosaur cutouts and making  tie dye T-shirts and other colorful crafts all related to prehistoric times.

A pair of very popular demonstrations included a presentation of liquid nitrogen and its effects on various objects that were “frozen solid” in a matter of seconds before audiences of wide-eyed youngsters and adults.

The fire extinguisher- powered rocket wagon was also a big attraction.

Outside, another well-attended attraction was the exploding watermelons that dazzled many with amazement, and for some, a piece of tasty fruit at the same time if you were in the right place at the right time.

The event offered a vast array of educational exhibits that identified the various types of dinosaurs with scale models that youngsters could see up close and handle. Some little ones even dressed for the occasion in dinosaur costumes or themed apparel.

The event also offered  a room full of physics “toys” for visitors to explore where it was all about knocking things over and creating chaos.  The exploration of space was also featured, allowing visitors to view the planets through telescopes.

Attendees learned all about the  microbial world by seeing fluorescent bacteria though genetically modified organisms.

For those who were brave, eye and heart dissections took place at the event.  Others enjoyed seeing real fossils being prepared. The day likely left many youngsters desiring to one day become a paleontologist and a preview of one of the area’s local institutions that can help them follow such dreams.

The Sierra College Natural History Museum is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization. All proceeds from Dinosaur Days Science Festival are used throughout the year to maintain museum exhibits, provide programming and to make new and exciting installations in the facility. The museum is open throughout the year from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. while classes are in session and occasionally on weekends. Planetarium shows and guided tours are available by appointment. To learn more, visit sierracollege.edu.