Jurassic (West) Park dinosaur adventure for hundreds of kids

Hundreds of nine and ten year-olds have been fossil hunting in Hartlepool.

Sunday, 7th July 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 8th July 2019, 1:53 am
Digging up the past. Sacred Heart RC Primary School pupils Finley McGeorge and Evie Chapman took part in the Dino-dig High Tunstall College

High Tunstall College of Science invited year-five pupils from nearby primary schools to its “Dino-dig”, to unearth dinosaur remains during two days of fun and adventure on the college’s grounds.

The budding palaeontologists came from eight different schools, including Sacred Heart, Eldon Grove and Throston. Many of the children will attend the college when they are older.

It’s been a while since dinosaurs roamed around the West Park area; yet each trowelled-up school successfully found a bone from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a pterodactyl wing and, most terrifying of all, coprolite (dinosaur poo).

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They were also allowed to dissect parts of the ancient reptiles, but under strict supervision.

Each youngster took part in five different sessions at the college. The sessions were part of a STEM Day (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths); an initiative aimed at inspiring primary school students to take an interest in the technical subjects that High Tunstall has to offer.

The “archaeological site” was set up by BAM Construction, the firm currently building the college’s new £17million block which is due to open in November this year. BAM also supplied suitably sized hard hats and hi-vis jackets.

Sarra Peek is the Discovery Faculty leader at High Tunstall. She was delighted with the visit of the youngsters and praised their behaviour.

She said: “We had about 360 Year-five children here over two days and they has a wonderful time.

“STEM days in the past have been about things like artificial intelligence and Harry Potter. This time the theme was dinosaurs.

“The children came to learn about all things dinosaurs and they really, really enjoyed the experience. We try to engage them in new things. It’s very rare that they get to dissect things; especially a dinosaur.

“We all know that employment opportunities in the North East are limited, so it will stand them in good stead if they can learn about the STEM subjects we teach here.

“I also think it’s nice for them to experience what big school will be like when they’re older.”