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Journal article Open Access

How to use dinosaurs to teach the scientific method, conservation and ethics

Julián Monge-Nájera


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    <subfield code="a">Teaching the Scientific Method, Species extinction, Ethics in Science.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="u">Laboratorio de Ecología Urbana, RECAS, Vicerrectoría de Investigación, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, 2050 San José, Costa Rica. julianmonge@gmail.com</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Dinosaurs have great educational potential because they fascinate young minds and the general public. The ancient&lt;br&gt;
Chinese, Greeks and Romans explained their fossils with beautiful legends; in the Twentieth century, Jurassic&lt;br&gt;
Park and Walking with Dinosaurs brought dinosaur science to the masses. Here I explain how to make three&lt;br&gt;
inexpensive and simple activities: the first one teaches how to reconstruct the appearance of a dinosaur and its&lt;br&gt;
habitat from fossils and focuses on the requirements of the Scientific Method; it can be done with a computer or&lt;br&gt;
manually. The second is a simple drawing practice that teaches the impossibility of faithfully copying an extinct&lt;br&gt;
species (despite the current proposals for species &amp;ldquo;de-extinction&amp;rdquo;). The third activity is a dramatization about&lt;br&gt;
ethical conflicts related to fossils. The article includes activity cut-outs and detailed steps, how to evaluate and&lt;br&gt;
practical advice&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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