SCHOOLS & STEM
The Lauer Foundation PSE develops and delivers a variety of outreach programs to local schools and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) programs. The programs are customized to meet the requirements of the teachers or schools. The programs include lecture, interactive activities and audiovisual presentations. The programs cover two areas:
Geology & Paleontology
“Dino Dig," meant for elementary school kids, is a program that discusses fossils with a hands-on activity where the children excavate a plastic dinosaur from a matrix.
Middle school programs cover both geology and paleontology and are timed to coincide with the earth science curriculum at the school. It includes lecture and hands-on examining of rocks and fossils.
STEM programs can range from complex activities relating to both geology and paleontology to less complex summer workshop paleontology overviews.
The Foundation focuses on a cultural awareness program relating to Africa. This program is usually presented as part of the individual schools' Multicultural Day activities. The program started in 2002 and continues to be delivered to local elementary and middle schools.
The program focuses on cultural customs and traditions of different African tribes as well as wildlife conservation.
Students are engaged through show-and-tell artifacts as well as photographic slideshows.
The Foundation participates in outreach programs for the general public through various partners.
National Fossil Day is a national day organized by the National Park Service to inform the general public about paleontology and fossils. In 2019, The Foundation partnered with Wheaton, Illinois based Cosley Zoo for a National Fossil Day event in conjunction with their pumpkin festival. The event focused on Illinois fossils and each child received a fossil. This was a very successful event with over 1,000 visitors.
Prior to 2019, The Foundation partnered with the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois to provide a customized display for the event each year. The event included providing real fossils to the children who attended.
The Foundation has sponsored and exhibited at Burpee Museum’s Paleofest Symposium for several years. Paleofest is a conference that attracts premier scientists from around the world.
The Foundation participates and initiates outreach to the general public via special exhibitions of the collections.
The Lauer Foundation is proud to announce their participation in a special exhibit at the Jura-Museum in Eichstátt, Germany titled “Hammerfunde! Fossiliensammler und ihre Schátze” (Hammer finds! Fossil Collectors and Their Treasures).
The Foundation was invited to participate in this exhibit by the Director of the Jura-Museum, Dr. Christina Ifrim. The exhibit runs from May 18, 2021 thru May 1, 2022. The Foundation has a specimen of a lizard from Eichstátt in the exhibition.