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Dinosaurs roaming in LP-A

Kim Higgins presents "Dinosaurs" and "Solids to Lake Park-Audubon students. She was there as a part of the Science Matters program, a partnership with Flint Hills Resources and the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Lake Park-Audubon School students experienced fizzing test tubes, larger-than-life dinosaurs and dazzling displays of ecosystems as they learned about science through dramatic hands-on demonstrations on Thursday, Feb. 25.

Flint Hills Resources and the Science Museum of Minnesota brought their interactive Science Matters program to Lake Park-Audubon to enrich students' science education and inspire them to enhance students' interest in the sciences.

Science Museum staff visited Lake Park Audubon to present two Science Matters assemblies --Dinosaurs and Solids, Liquids and Gases -- to 340 students. Through exciting, hands-on experiments, students will explore what life would have been like for dinosaurs, helping a paleontologist discover fossils and reconstruct a life-sized dinosaur. Other students explored the chemical makeup of solids, liquids and gases and how energy changes matter from one form to another.

As part of the Science Matters program, 55 students will be accompanied by teachers and chaperones for an overnight camp-in among the Science Museum's world-class exhibitions and workshops in March. The camp-in will provide students with an opportunity to further their scientific exploration.

By showing students how science plays a role in their daily lives, the Science Matters program also helps enhance their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, which is a goal of the Minnesota Department of Education. The programs, which have recently been realigned and correlated to the new state and national standards, are specifically tailored to each school's curriculum needs.

"The Science Matters program ignites a child's natural curiosity about the wonders of science, bringing science to life," said Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota. "The program's hands-on science activities are a creative way to support STEM education in our schools."

As part of its partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, Flint Hills sponsors educational outreach programs that bring teachers from the museum to elementary schools throughout Minnesota that might not otherwise be able to take advantage of the museum's world-class resources. This year, the Science Matters program will reach more than 4,100 students in 17 schools across the state.

"This program shows students how science impacts their everyday lives and motivates them to play an active role in protecting the environment," said Heather Rein, manager of community investment for Flint Hills Resources.