Sharon Rixner

Entheos Magna, Magna UT

Join an on-site dinosaur excavation and Paleo Training Course offered by Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, MT, to incorporate real-life applications and experiences into a dinosaur and fossil based curriculum and spark student interest in science and scientific drawing.

Where I've Been

  • Bynum, Montana

My Fellowship in Images

Egg Nesting Site
A Palaeosaurus foot cast
Triceratops skin impression
Plastering a bone for removal; getting plastered
The start of extracting a bone; turns to be a tyrannosaurs tooth
Tyrannosaurus Tooth; I was fortunate enough to find it.

Your Personal and Professional Growth

How have your knowledge, skills and capabilities grown?

Before attending Two Medicine Dinosaur center, I was unable to describe the pure joy of finding something millions of years old. I am able to explore with student the proper process of locating possibilities where fossils could be to the preservation of a specimen. During this adventure; I have gained additional information and information clarified regarding geological time periods. I am able to locate a dinosaur par from a model or sketch scale.

As a result, in what ways will your instructional practice change?

My personal instructional practices will change with the addition of materials. I am excited to add, scale models, additional information on the gemological time scale that I did not know about before. Showing students specimens and explain what part of the dinosaur came from the hands on experience of touching specimens. I will instruct student through the process of find and preservation of a fossil. The students will create the process of fossilizing. The joy of discovering a fossil!

What is the greatest personal accomplishment of your fellowship?

The greatest accomplishment of this fellowship is that: the team moves over 5 tons of dirt in 8 days. The greatest excitement was when I took 3 hours to remove matrix from a fossil and to find out its a tyrannosaurs Rex tooth. This was the first sign of a t-rex being found in that location. They joy of coming home and telling our students about our adventure. This was hard labor, but everyday we kept going by a need to find more or remove more matrix from an exposed bone. All I can say is WOW

Impact on Your Classroom, School and Community

How will your experiences positively impact student learning in new ways?

The excitement of stories of experiences, showing pictures and actual artifacts will keep the teaching/entertaining part easy. The opportunity to offer a new methodology of science to a student it powerful. In our school population we have first time college graduates and numerous on the path to be the first person in the family to graduate from high school. Bring able to open a new pathway for a career about something they like already. The very passion in science leads to college and carer.

What are your plans for working collaboratively with colleagues?

My plans are sharing the wealth of knowledge I was able to gain with my colleagues. I will collaborate with my fellow teachers on how to instruct others with actual specimens and how to identify types, locations and err of the specimens. We will work together to build a Curricula to enhance our yearly expedition field work trip.

Imagining the Future

How do you envision celebrating of your students’ new learning?

I envision new student learning with project based activities. Dinosaur Monument in Vernal, Utah is the location our students will fully put the new skills and knowledge they have learned to work. The students will have developed what to look for in research and how to decipher false information and a reliable source.

Are there issues or challenges in your school, community or the greater world about which you and your students might try to make a difference?

Yes- Our school is a service learning school. Each grade, teacher or student chooses a service project to implement into the local community. Students will now have an additional area of community service by educating them with the preserving artifacts from the past and how important preservation is.

How would you describe to a friend or a grant funder the most fundamental ways in which your fellowship has changed your personal and/or professional perspective?

The adventure to Two Medicine Dinosaur was life changing. To be able to fulfill a lifelong dream and have it included in your other love (teaching) is truly a once in a life time opportunity. I have been humbled from removing tons of dirt by hand to the smallest slowest task of removing matrix (soil, mud, clay) for three hours to revile the top side of a tooth. The amount of excitement, joy and a new sense of wonder cannot be expressed. This will make me a better teacher.