Published November 1, 2017 | Version v2
Journal article Open

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

  • 1. Laboratorio de Ecología Urbana, RECAS, Vicerrectoría de Investigación, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, 2050 San José, Costa Rica.


Dinosaurs have great educational potential because they fascinate young minds and the general public. The ancient
Chinese, Greeks and Romans explained their fossils with beautiful legends; in the Twentieth century, Jurassic
Park and Walking with Dinosaurs brought dinosaur science to the masses. Here I explain how to make three
inexpensive and simple activities: the first one teaches how to reconstruct the appearance of a dinosaur and its
habitat from fossils and focuses on the requirements of the Scientific Method; it can be done with a computer or
manually. The second is a simple drawing practice that teaches the impossibility of faithfully copying an extinct
species (despite the current proposals for species “de-extinction”). The third activity is a dramatization about
ethical conflicts related to fossils. The article includes activity cut-outs and detailed steps, how to evaluate and
practical advice



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