Throwback Thursday: DinoTracks and Black Beauty

Exhibits come and go here at the Museum & Theatre, and today we’re highlighting an exhibit that debuted six years ago, which you might remember: DinoTracks!

This trilingual exhibit explored, in English, Spanish and French, the fossil footprints of dinosaurs that once roamed New England and eastern Canada. Put together with help from the staff of the Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT, DinoTracks also inspired programming including dino puppet making, learning how a Tyrannosaurus Rex moved, and making track print art.

Natural history educator Tony Sohns of Ellsworth, ME, also helped us borrow, for a limited time, a replica skull of Black Beauty. No, not the horse… a famous skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Black Beauty, named for the dark shiny mineral deposits on its bones from the rocks around it, was discovered in 1980 in Alberta, Canada, where the full skeleton is still housed at the Royal Tyrell Museum. Black Beauty and other replica skulls and complete fossils (have you heard of Sue, or Stan, a couple of other famous Tyrannosaur skeletons?) are still on tour and on display in several museums around the world. We were happy and proud to be one of them in 2009!

The original Black Beauty in Alberta, Canada. Image via Wikimedia.
The original Black Beauty in Alberta, Canada. Image via Wikimedia.

DinoTracks has come and gone as an exhibit, but we’re still wild about dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures here at the museum! Did you know that we have lots of fossil replicas, minerals and more in our collection? Check out some of our Science Spotlights and other programs that will let you explore tons of rocks, fossils, and creatures both living today and from the eras of dinosaurs!

Fossil Making Workshop October 2 & October 11

Fossil Making Workshop (R$)
10/02/2014 | 3:30pm | Click here to register online!
10/11/2014 | 11:30am | Click here to register online!
Check out some real and replica fossils from plants and dinosaurs as inspiration to make your own faux fossil. We’ll talk about how fossils are made then make realistic models from natural sculpture materials like clay and plaster. Take your fossil home and add it to your rock collection, or place it outside to watch it return to nature.Best for ages 4+. Please allow 1 hour for fossil to set.

$5 per fossil for members, $6 per fossil plus admission for visitors. For tickets call 828-1234 x231 or stop by the front desk.

I’m Rosanne. Be one of my campers!

Meet Rosanne!About Rosanne:

BA Biology, Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)
Having joined the Children’s Museum & Theatre as an intern in the garden, Rosanne imbues a sense of curiosity and respect for the natural world into all of her teaching. Her previous work in education has taken her from Ohio to Central America and, most recently, to Vermont as a garden-based educator. Rosanne loves the creativity and imagination of the museum visitors and sees her work as an opportunity to inspire young people to be inventors, growers and makers.

Here’s what Rosanne has to say about her 2013 summer camps:

I’m excited to spend the summer telling stories, digging in the dirt and building amazing inventions! Our campers have such wonderful curiosity and imagination, perfect for understanding and appreciating the science that makes our world work. At these camps, we will be exploring the world of science with storytelling, imagination, and lots of excellent messes.

• Young Inventors 7/22-7/26  •

At Young Inventors camp, we’ll be choosing our own adventures! This camp is all about fostering curiosity and inventiveness and building problem solving skills. Together, we will be devising creative solutions to whimsical challenges, drawing on the museum’s exhibits for inspiration (we have whozits and whatzits galore!). We will learn basic principles of science, explore the beauty of simple machines and learn to embraces challenges as an opportunity to be more creative. For example, from a given set of supplies, we’ll tackle a whole bunch of challenges: create something to keep a secret in! Create new instruments for your band and sing us a song! Create a flying machine to safely carry a family of jelly beans! This camp is designed for 6-8 year olds. Come to Young Inventors camp and dream up your own incredible invention!

• Dinos Rock! (8/12-8/16) •

Later in the summer, we’ll be traveling back to the Age of Reptiles- to the time of the dinosaurs. This camp is all about exploring prehistoric dinosaur life and the earth’s landscape 180 million years ago, a time when the Museum’s special collection of artifacts was being made! Learning from life-size replicas of dinosaur fossils and real plant and animal fossils, we’ll make casts of animal tracks, play rousing games of fossil charades and dance in a dinosaur disco. Campers will play archeologist and search the garden for fossils, carefully uncovering its hidden treasure. What ancient species will they uncover? How did it live? What did it eat? Dino Rock! camp is developmentally appropriate for 4-6 year olds and, if you child loves dinos and digging and dressing up, this is the camp for them!

Talk to Rosanne:

Curious about Rosanne’s camps? Contact her at 828-1234 x229 or email her at

Ready to register? You can do it online here or call Shana at 828-1234 x232.

Dino Tracks: Take A Giant Step Back in Time

Opening Day
Friday, May 8

Come see our fourth Environmental Exhibit Collaborative (EEC) exhibit! Study the fossil footprints of the dinosaurs who once roamed New England and Eastern Canada in the early Jurassic. Learn about the methods scientists use to study and interpret tracks, including how modern birds help scientists to understand the behavior of ancient dinosaurs. The exhibit is tri-lingual, featuring English, Spanish, and French and was developed with the assistance of the staff of Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT.