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. The Foundation has partnered with the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois to provide a customized display for the event each year. The event includes providing real fossils to the children who attend.
The Foundation has sponsored and exhibited at Burpee Museum’s Paleofest Symposium for the last four 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 Foundation loaned three Solnhofen Pterosaur specimens to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. Two of the Pterosaurs are exhibited on a long-term basis at the entrance to the Evolving Planet exhibit. The third specimen was displayed for six months in the Science Hub at the museum.
The Foundation partnered with the Burpee Museum to create the exhibition “A Snapshot in Time” which displayed over 35 specimens from the collection covering the Solnhofen biota. The exhibit was on display for eighteen months. Hans Dieter Sues from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC provided a special lecture at the opening of the exhibit.
The Foundation again partnered with the Burpee Museum to loan a collection of Megalodon shark teeth to the museum to enhance their special Megalodon exhibit.
The Foundation and Rene Lauer provided a collection of African wildlife photos to supplement another Burpee Museum special exhibition featuring their taxidermy collection.