“There really isn’t much in the way of natural history museums in this region, it would be nice to be able to build this up,” said SC4 sciences instructor, Suzanne Grandy.
With benefactors like Michael Sincak, SC4 has a sizable display on the first floor of the Clara E. Mackenzie building. Sincak is responsible for donating more than $40,000 worth of museum quality artifacts and specimens, with the first donation being the trilobite casts.
“I sent them out a ‘thank you’ and shared in the hopes that someday we will have a museum,” said Grandy.
Sincak said, “It’s just trilobites.”
In return, Grandy said, “Yeah, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”
Grandy said, “Basically, Michael single handedly contributed to our efforts: A T-Rex skull, authentic dinosaur egg, real fossils and replica productions.”
“There are a few more things we want to do especially with the mineral exhibit, we hope to bring schools in and reach out to the community. We’ve put together a brochure about the museum on some of the tack boards around campus,” said Grandy.
“We have thought about a reach out for area faculty and elementary, middle and high schools who need more science background. Open the doors for workshops on paleontology,” said Grandy, “the classes are already using these displays. It’s been a Godsend but it’ll be much more than this.”
“We’re putting together pamphlets for self guided tours, so people can take a tour on their own,” Grandy said. “We also would like to make scavenger hunt for kids, something it is fun for them. This is really good for the college and really good for the department. I think they like being surrounded by all of this stuff. It’s kind of inspiring I think.”
Dr. Ann Purdy-Nielsen, an instructor in SC4’s math and science department, said, “The plan is to give classes, things for people of all ages. For school groups or maybe even some teacher education classes in dealing with natural sciences, fossil material, and rocks. We also hope to cover dinosaur material and ancient mammals.”
“The idea was we wanted to try and do something that isn’t like the typical museum. We want it all accessible were people can walk through it and have it intermingled with study areas. Not anything with restricted access,” said Purdy-Nielsen.
The displays are up in the first-floor lobby of the Clara E. Mackenzie building, and more displays will be added as the museum continues to grow.
Rachel Olivia Kobylas