Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Inside the Smithsonian's Fossil Prep Lab

Description

  • Title: Inside the Smithsonian's Fossil Prep Lab
  • Air Date: March 9, 2017
  • Series: Smithsonian Science How webcasts, which are designed to connect natural history science and research to upper-elementary and middle-school students.

This video features Michelle Pinsdorf, fossil preparator at the National Museum of Natural History. Have you ever wondered how scientists decipher the information encrypted in fossils? Every fossil is a time capsule containing a record of events that happened on Earth thousands or millions of years ago. Michelle cleans and prepares fossils to better expose them for study and display. See how she carefully preserves fossils to maintain their value far into the future.

Teaching Resources

Fossil Preparation: Key Terms, Concepts, and Related Resources

National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Earth Science

MS-ESS1 Earth's Place in the Universe

  • MS-ESS1-4: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history.

MS-ESS2 Earth's Systems

  • MS-ESS2-2: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.

Life Science

MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • MS-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • MS-LS4-2: Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
6-8
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Topics
Earth Science, Life Science, Paleontology