About Akron Fossils & Science Center

Akron Fossils & Science Center features hands-on tours and science activities that put knowledge directly in your hands. Our exhibits display many fossils from Ohio and around the world. In addition to our guided tours, we offer a wide variety of enriching science programs, all hands-on and designed to make science and learning fun and meaningful. We also look forward to having you enjoy our 2 1/2 acre outdoor adventure park called Truassic Park. Our park features a 9-hole mini golf course, giant slide, and 200 FT ZIP- LINE! At Akron Fossils & Science Center, participants and visitors become more than observers; they become researchers, experimenters, and even educators. Our exhibits and programs let you experience science first-hand and encourage understanding and deep, critical thought. A trip to Akron Fossils & Science Center provides more than something to do for one day; it ignites a passion for learning and exploration that lasts a lifetime.

Family Feature- The Freemans!

Chloe Freeman

When asked how she would describe Akron Fossils & Science Center (AFSC) to someone who had never been here before, Chloe Freeman had one word, “Amazing.” A student in the Simply Science program for 3 years now, Chloe is more excited about science than ever before.

Simply Science, for those who don’t know, is Akron Fossils & Science Center’s program offering K-12 science courses for home educated students. Classes explore a wide variety of science fields, covering everything from Anatomy to Botany to Crime Scene Investigation.

At 13, Chloe already has her sights set on a future in science. With the goal of becoming a Marine Biologist, she has started looking for colleges that specialize in this area of study. Her interest in the subject grew while taking Marine Biology at AFSC last year. Not only did Chloe complete her science fair project on bioluminescence, her mother, Karen,  shared that Chloe insisted the family visit the local marine biology center during the family’s vacation.

Watching Chloe talk about the classes and work excitedly with her friends in class, it’s clear that AFSC is more than just a place she is required to go in order to complete her science credit. In fact, she doesn’t have to come at all. This year, Chloe is enrolled in online science courses, but she still chose to participate in Simply Science, just because she enjoys it.

“The classes are amazing, the teachers are amazing. It’s just so much easier to learn here because it’s fun.  Miss. Jodie and the activities make it easy to understand, more than just reading it out of a book. If it were possible, I wish I could take all my classes here.”

Chloe first came to AFSC after her mother learned about Simply Science through a friend.  Karen had always homeschooled Chloe, but, because science wasn’t a favorite or strong subject of her own, she thought Simply Science would be a good way to give her daughter a richer, more in-depth science education than she could get at home.

One facet of Simply Science that both Karen and Chloe highlighted was the Annual

Science Fair collage

Science Fair 2016

Science Fair. Having watched her older children participate in science fairs through public schools, Karen recalls being left to figure out much of the science fair process alone. Conversely, Jodie spent the time with Chloe and the other students to walk them through the process, from discussing the purpose of a science fair, to teaching them how to do good research, all the way to how to professionally present a project.

Last year, Chloe’s science fair project was on, no surprise here, Marine Biology, studying bioluminescence in different types of light. This year, Chloe decided to do a project with several friends in her Botany class. Together they are researching the effect of different light and fertilizer on tomato growth.

While the science fair was Chloe’s absolute favorite project she’s worked on so far, it was by no means the only one she enjoyed.  When asked what project or experiment she’s liked most, she replied “Just one?” Also in the running were the class’s hydroponics project and a video the students got to make for class.

Outside of studying ocean life, Chloe loves to read. When asked what she enjoys reading, Chloe replied, “Books on marine biology, books on space, and I’m reading a book on Mars and growing food there. “ She also added in a love for other books within the Sci-Fi genre.

chloe freeman, botany class

Chloe’s passion for science and learning is contagious, as is her energetic and friendly personality. Thank you to the Freeman family for sharing your story!

Check back here next month to meet our next Feature Family: The Hendersons!

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Learn more about Simply Science: K-12 Science Classes for home educated students!

Check out our 6 amazing SUMMER CAMPS

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Maiasaura- The Good Mother Dinosaur

Happy Mothers Day to all of the amazing mothers out there! In honor of mothers, we thought we would take a look back into the fossil record to learn about the dinosaur Maiasaura, which translates to “Good Mother Reptile”. Maiasaura, of the hadrosaurid (duck-billed) genus, was discovered in 1978 by Laurie Trexler on an expedition to
Montana’s Two Medicine Formation and is one of the few dinosaur species to be given a female name. The reason behind this was the dinosaur’s apparent good parenting skills as evident in the fossil record.

In 1978, Marion Branvold made a fascinating discovery: a nest with the remains of eggshells and the fossils of dinosaurs too small to be fully grown and too large to be hatchlings. Eventually, even more eggs were found , leading the area located in maiasaura picwestern Montana to become known as “Egg Mountain” and were studied extensively by famed paleontologist Jack Horner. Such nesting grounds are now found all over the world. It is common for many reptiles such as turtles to abandon their young after laying their eggs, leaving them to fend for themselves and for a long time it was assumed that d
inosaurs followed suit, which was why the discovery of Maiasaura breeding grounds was so profound.

Studies of these breeding grounds have revealed young Maiasaura lived alongside thebaby maiasaurair parents for years and have suggested that they travel in herds, raising their young in nesting colonies, with nests packed close to one another, almost like a dinosaur maternity ward. The nests usually contained between 30-40 ostrich sized eggs, laid in a spiral or circular pattern. Because the 30 ft long Maiasaura weighed in on the heavy side, sitting on her nest would have crushed the comparatively small eggs. Instead, the nest was covered with rotting vegetation to keep the eggs warm.

 

Unlike many young, which are born able to walk, fossils evidence of the hatchlings show that their legs were too underdeveloped to walk, and yet their teeth showed signs of wearing, meaning that food had to be brought to them by their parents. It was the first evidence that large dinosaurs fed and raised their young and changed how paleontologists viewed dinosaurs forever, challenging the view that dinosaurs were solitary creatures. Additionally, it was realized that many dinosaurs previously thought to be separate species were in fact only juvenile forms of already discovered mature dinosaurs.

The discovery of the “good mother dinosaur” taught paleontologists that caring for young was not a trait reserved only for mammals, and that these large, sometimes viscous looking creatures were not by definition exclusively solitary creatures.  It was a discovery that profoundly changed the way scientists think of and learn about dinosaurs and opened a door to research that is still ongoing today. It just goes to show mothers of all types have been teaching us a lot for quite a long time! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

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Sources:

Dodson, Peter & Britt, Brooks & Carpenter, Kenneth & Forster, Catherine A. & Gillette, David D. & Norell, Mark A. & Olshevsky, George & Parrish, J. Michael & Weishampel, David B. The Age of Dinosaurs. Publications International, LTD. p. 116-117. ISBN 0-7853-0443-6.

Horner, Jack and Gorman, James. (1988). Digging Dinosaurs: The Search that Unraveled the Mystery of Baby Dinosaurs, Workman Publishing Co.

Lehman, T. M., 2001, Late Cretaceous dinosaur provinciality: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, pp. 310–328.

Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 148. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.

Trexler, D., 2001, Two Medicine Formation, Montana: geology and fauna: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, pp. 298–309.

https://www.thoughtco.com/things-to-know-maiasaura-1093792

Summer Camps 2017!

As the days begin to warm up, here at Akron Fossils & Science Center we are gearing up for summer camps! Every year we work hard to make camps bigger, better, and more fun filled, and this season is no exception. This summer, we’re offering SIX different camp themes— there really is something for everyone! Our summer camps are each five days long with morning and afternoon sessions offered. We also have before and after care options available.  Campers are led through four different stations: Discover, Snack, Create, and Play, all themed towards the camp of your choosing. Scroll down for more information on all of the fantastic camp options you’ll find this summer at Akron Fossils & Science Center.

Dinosaur Adventure Camps

DurinDinosaur Camp 2g our Dinosaur Adventure Camps, campers will be learning all about dinosaurs and paleontology! Learn how scientists dig for fossils, how dinosaurs are classified, all about the fossils record, how replicas are made, and so much more!

Dates & Registration
Week 1: Dinosaur Hunters

June 12-16, 2017
Morning Session: 9-12:30
Afternoon Session: 1:30-5

Week 2: Dinosaurian World

July 24-28, 2017
Morning Session: 9-12:30
Afternoon Session: 1:30-5

Creature Feature Camp

CF Camp Logo

At Creature Feature Camp, campers will have the opportunity to learn all about how to handle and care for live animals, about zoology, animal anatomy and physiology, biomes, ecosystems, and more! And of course, campers will have the chance to meet some of our creature friends!

Dates & Registration
Animals Inside and Out: July 10-14, 2017

Morning Session: 9-12:30

Afternoon Session: 1:30-5

Mad Science Camp

If you lomad scienceve hands-on science, experiments, and messy fun, then you’ll love our Mad Science Camp! Campers will learn all about chemicals, gravity, elements, magnetism, and more all the while getting to participate in fun, hands-on science experiments!

Dates & Registration
Documenting Data: June 19-23, 2017
Morning Session: 9-12:30
Afternoon Session: 1:30-5

Space Camp *NEW

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At our Space Camp: Mission to Mars, campers will be learning all about exploring the Red Planet including ongoing research and upcoming missions!

Dates & Registration
Mission to Mars: June 26-30, 2017
Morning Session: 9-12:30
Afternoon Session: 1:30-5

CSI Camp * NEW

Grab your trench coats detectives! At our all new CSI Camp: Without A Trace, campers CSI Logowill have the opportunity to learn all about the methods that real crime scene investigators use to solve crimes. Learn about data collection and analysis, finger printing, DNA testing and more!

Dates & Registration
Without a Trace: July 17-21, 2017
Morning Session: 9-12:30
Afternoon Session: 1:30-5

S.T.E.A.M. Camp * New

Steam Logo

STEAM is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. At our STEAM Camp, campers will spend each of the five camp days learning about one of the elements of the STEAM curriculum– Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math!

Dates & Registration
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics: June 31- August 04, 2017
Morning Session: 9-12:30
Afternoon Session: 1:30-5

As you can see, its going to be quite the exciting summer! With so many themes, the only question you have to answer now is “which one will I choose?”!  Head over to akronfossils.com/camps for more information on pricing and registration, or call us at 330-665-3466.

Make sure to check out some of our camps from years past for a sneak peek at the fun we have every summer!

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Winter Work and Summer Fun

Summer hours may be a distant dream as we brave the ice and snow, but here at Akron Fossils & Science Center, we are doing anything but hibernating! While the cold winds whistle outside, our staff and volunteers have been hard at work prepping for an exciting summer season. Here’s a peek at all you can look forward to (in addition to warmer temperatures!) this year at Akron Fossils & Science Center!

Our Exhibit Hall underwent quite the transformation in 2016, but we just couldn’t stop there! We have added even more brand-new displays and spruced up some older ones. Make sure to drop in to see skull-displayour latest exhibit looking at the probability of ape to man evolution as well as our updated section on the science and probability of intelligent design. 

We are so excited to present our new exhibits to you, but the best part is that guests will soon have the option to explore them on their own time. For the first time since it opened 12 years ago, Akron Fossils & Science Center will have a self-guided tour option for guests. With the aid of touch screens, videos, and beautiful posters and flip-books provided by our friends at Power Graphics , you can now explore our museum at your own pace.

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While our exhibit hall has been the focus of our collective efforts for the past year, its our gift shop that is getting a face-lift this season! Free standing racks have been replaced by beautifully constructed mounted displays and a new snack bar means guests can stay and enjoy all of the fun at AFSC even longer! 

If you’ve been a long time fan of our camps or maybe you’ve always wanted to try them out, then summer 2017 is sure to be your best summer yet! Always looking to create more exciting and educational opportunities for aspiring scientists, AFSC will be offering three BRAND NEW camp themes this summer! That means that there will now be a total of SIX different themes from which to choose.  With the addition of Space, STEAM, and CSI themes to our camp lineup, there’s something for everyone! Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see all of the fun we had at camps last year!

 

Another addition we are excited to announce is the introduction of Camp Creation to our programming. Last year saw the addition of the set for this fun program with the cabin you see when you enter the lecture hall.  Keep checking akronfossils.com for updates as we continue to develop this program.

 

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The Camp Creation cabin is all ready to go!

There is a lot to look forward to this upcoming summer and we cannot wait to share it with you. We hope to see you there!

 


Don’t forget that we are OPEN during the winter every Saturday from 10am-5pm for TOURS and BIRTHDAY PARTIES, and during the week for SCIENCE CLASSES,and FIELD TRIPS!

You can also join us every 3rd Saturday of the month for SUPER SCIENCE SATURDAY, a whole day filled with hands-on science fun!

Looking Back and Moving Forward

2016 has been an incredible year of change for Akron Fossils & Science Center. It’s hard to believe it’s already coming to a close! When the year began, AFSC set out with a vision of growth and change.  Our exhibit hall was just beginning to undergo major renovations, new programming was being proposed, and new events were being planned. Now, looking back after a year of hard work on the part of so many people, it is truly stunning to see how far the science center has come.

Our exhibit hall is now completely redesigned and equipped with new displays and technology. We had the opportunity to meet with pastors in the Akron area during our first annual Pastor’s Night and had so much fun at our first ever Chronicles of Narnia Summer Carnival. Our park now boasts brand new play equipment; the lecture hall now has two newly built animal learning areas to accompany its many other updates including our Camp Creation Cabin and turtle pond.

From renovations to new and growing programming, AFSC has experienced stunning growth and blessings over the past 12 months.  None of these changes would have been possible if not for the generous donations, countless hours of volunteer labor and materials, and of course, the blessings of the Lord. Take a moment to check out some of our favorite moments from 2016!

 

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As we celebrate this year’s victories, we are also planning and setting new goals for 2017! Some of the changes, goals, and improvements to look forward to in 2017 include fully opening the completed exhibit hall for self guided tours/ adding a “self-guided” option to our tour set, continuing to grow newly introduced events such as our summer carnival and pastors night, growing our existing programming to include more camps and Simply Science classes, exterior renovations, connecting more with the Akron/Copley community, and launching new programming including Camp Creation, and fossil replica making.

We are thankful for the success and support of 2016 and so excited for all that 2017 may bring. Thank you for your continued support of Akron Fossils & Science Center’s mission to bring quality, science-based creation education to the Akron community.  We cannot wait to see what the next year has in store.

Stay connected Akron Fossils & Science Center on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/akronfossils/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AkronFossilsCtr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/akronfossils/

Main Website: Akronfossils.com

 

 

It’s Auction Time!

Akron Fossils & Science Center’s 12th Annual Auction and Benefit Dinner is fast approaching! This year brings another mystery to be solved as we reprise our CLUE themed mystery dinner night. It’s going to be a fun evening filled with drama, sleuthing, clue finding, and more, all while raising money to support all of the quality, hands-on creation education programming  Akron Fossils and Science Center provides throughout the year.

This year,  Compass Christian Church has once again generously allowed us to hold our auction at its facility, located at 1900 East Avenue, Akron, OH, 44314. On Saturday, November 5th, we will be transforming the church into a live version of the classic mystery game, CLUE, for the second year in a row–but don’t think that means you’ll have all the answers!!

Join Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, and the whole gang to solve A WHOLE NEW MYSTERY at the Body Mansion! In addition to bidding on our many exciting silent and oral auction items and enjoying a delicious spaghetti dinner, guests will have the chance to search for clues and question suspects as they attempt to solve The Case of the Missing Donation: Part II. 

A peek at all of the fun we had at last year’s mystery dinner!

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Businesses and organizations from all over the country have generously donated exciting items for our silent auction, oral auction, raffle, and door prizes.With everything from passes to Walt Disney World, Florida, to gift certificates to play a round of golf, there will definitely be something for everyone at this event. What better place to do some early Christmas shopping??

Check out some of the amazing items up for bid this year!

 

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*For a full list of our generous donors, please visit the Donor Page on our website*

Every year, Akron Fossils and Science Center strives to bring science from a creation perspective to the Akron community through tours, programming, and outreach.  In addition to our hands-on guided tours, AFSC offers a wide variety of science classes, education days, birthday parties, Super Science Saturdays, outreach speaking, and more.

None of this programming would be possible without the support of generous donors and without the funds raised at our Annual Auction. As  largest, single fundraising event of the year, this event ensures that all of this amazing programming continues for another year.

We hope you consider joining in on this fun event and supporting Akron Fossils & Science Center as we prepare to enter into a new year of bringing fun, quality, creation education to the Akron community!

With tickets available at just $10 for adult tickets, $5 for youth tickets and $50 for a family pass, you could say it would almost be a CRIME not to go!!

Tickets may be purchased online at akronfossils.com/fundraisers or by calling Akron Fossils & Science Center at 330-665-DINO (3466)

Spotlight On: Youth Nights

This fall, you may want to consider booking one of our Youth Nights for your youth group or group of students! AFSC offers these nights as both a learning platform for students as well as to give students the opportunity to have their questions about origins, faith, and science answered. 

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of building a strong, scientific knowledge base. Having this foundation allows us to not only defend our faith to others, but also to ourselves. The truth of Biblical creation is scientifically sound, however, many students find themselves ill equipped to defend their faith. This is not due to a lack of evidence, but from a lack of education about the evidence that exists.

The Pew Research Center states that the percentage of adults who claim no religious affiliation is growing, despite the fact that a large percentage (78%) of those who claimed no religious affiliation were raised in the church (Lipka 2016). Perhaps more to the point is that when asked the reasons why they chose to leave the church, about half (49%) indicated a lack of belief as their main reason, including many who mentioned “science,””logic,” and “a lack of evidence” as the reason they no longer believe ( Lipka 2016).

The teen years are a time when many students find themselves faced with similar doubts and challenges to their faith and begin to ask questions.  Questions such as, “Can God’s Word really be trusted in this scientific age?” and  “what about radio-carbon dating-doesn’t it prove the earth is millions of years old?”.  At AFSC, we encourage everyone to ask questions and we want to help you answer them. This is why we offer our Youth Nights. We believe that students deserve to have their questions answered and should be able to face their peers equipped with answers and the confidence that the subject matter they are presenting is scientifically sound.

Youth Nights, offered for groups of 30+ students on Fridays from 6:30- Midnight, allow students to both learn and question in a fun, safe environment. Rather than simply hearing lectures, they will have the opportunity to participate in a discussion. Over the course of the evening, students will take part in group teaching, educational activities, guided tours, and small group discussions.  Of course, they will also have the opportunity to ride our 2o0 ft zip-line!

This is a perfect opportunity for youth groups who are looking to build a solid foundation for their youth, or for any group of students looking to have their questions answered and to have a better understanding of the science behind their faith.

If you are interested in booking a Youth Night for your group and would like more information, call or email us at 330-665-3466 and jodiebrewer.akronfossils@gmail.com. Click here to download our flier for an event overview and pricing.

 

Citations:

Lipka, Michael. “Why America’s ‘nones’ Left Religion behind.” Pew Research Center RSS. N.p., 2016. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.