BRANDON, MB — After sifting through the more than 100 entries submitted by Kindergarten to Grade 6 students from many Manitoba communities, a panel of five judges decided upon “Jerome” for the new Dromaeosaurus. The name was submitted by École Harrison Grade 2 student Sydney Manko.
“Jerome just sounded like a good name for the dinosaur. It just seemed right,” said the girl, who received a large wooden box, adorned with a plaque to commemorate her win. Inside were several types of rock and mineral specimen.
Her entry brought great news for her school and her classroom. The school received a copy of Geographica: The Complete Illustrated Atlas of the World, while Sydney’s class received a plaque adorned with a polished specimen of petrified wood.
These prizes were awarded during a ceremony that capped off an afternoon of activities designed for the more than 170 Grade 2 to 6 students who visited not only Jerome, but explored the Geology and Physics Departments this afternoon. There were classes from Earl Oxford School, École New Era, George Fitton School and École Harrison.
“It was really exciting. I love all the different types of quartz and rocks and the dinosaur is just amazing,” said Brenna Kelland, a Grade 5 student at École Harrison.
Her classmate, Nick Edmunds was also fascinated by Jerome as well as the demonstrations he witnessed during his visit.
“Everything was just great. I just love this stuff! I think the University would be a good place to study when I’m bigger,” said the 10 year old, who was one of several students who won small rock specimen for giving correct answers during some of the activities.
After watching documentaries about dinosaurs and volcanoes, the students were escorted by university student-volunteers to seven different laboratories or stations. They were able to witness various experiments and were introduce to various tools of the trade.
“This has a lot to do with our Grade 6 science curriculum. We’ve been studying living beings and they’re working on their Science Fair projects,” said Gisèle Corrigal, a teacher at New Era School who brought 18 Grade 5 and 6 students with her for the afternoon. “This worked in with a lot of what the students are doing.”
On hand for the event were three representatives from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba (APEGM). It was their gift of $15,000 that was the springboard for Jerome and his new home at Brandon University. APEGM’s financial gift was matched by the Faculty of Science. That $15,000 was part of a provincial government allocation of $450,000 earmarked for needed teaching equipment and material. The APEGM gift and the matched amount were used for the acquisition of teaching specimens to display in a new glassed-in cabinet.
“I love it any time you can take a topic which, for the most part, the public doesn’t know much about, like geology and the ancient history that goes back millions of years, and you display it in such a high profile way (as in the BU Geology Department. Seeing these students come by and participate, it tells me that kids are excited about this. I know that the public will be educated in a way that is not common,” said Grant Koropatnick, APEGM’s Executive Director and Registrar, who took advantage of the occasion to donate a cheque for $799 to a group of geology students to defray the cost of books for a newly offered geology course. “The APEGM Foundation’s purpose is to support the education of engineers and geologists, and this project was a slam-dunk for us. Congratulations to Brandon University!”
The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre (CFDC) as well as the Royal Tyrrell Museum (RTM) were approached for these teaching specimen. Both organizations have provided items for the new display — actual jaw bones of the world’s largest invertebrate fossil nicknamed “Bruce” from CFDC — and from RTM, the Dromaeosaurus, a museum-quality skeleton, and a large femur upon which it appears that the Dromaeosaurus is feasting. As well, mineral specimens have been acquired and added to the original collection.
At the end of the day, the Dean of Science, Dr. Austin Gulliver was thrilled with the interest from both the children in attendance and APEGM.
“It was a great opportunity to bring the students in and give them an idea of what the university looks like, particularly in geology,” said Dr. Gulliver. “It was also great to have people here from APEGM to show our appreciation for all of their efforts that they have been putting into supporting the Department of Geology at Brandon University over the years.”
For more information, please contact:
Joanne F. Villeneuve
P: (204) 727-9762