Kennewick teachers learn about paleontology at mammoth dig site

Several middle school teachers in Kennewick take a field trip to a mammoth dig site today to see what they can uncover about the history of the world.

The goal of today's dig is to give teachers a better understanding of paleontology, so they can go back to their classrooms and get their students excited about science.

The teachers gathered at the McBones Coyote Canyon Mammoth Dig this morning for some hands on experience.

They set up a dig site, dug up items buried underground, then washed the items and kept the bigger ones.

The teachers then inspected the items they found to identify them.

Educators say if students are able to see the real world application of what they're studying in class, they'll be motivated to learn, and more likely to succeed in school.

"They seem to think science is so difficult and out of their reach, and if we get them excited about it, they'll look at it, they'll try it, they'll find out that they can do it, they're good at it, and it's fun" said Julie Nelson, Desert Hills Middle School teacher.

"Science is something you have to do. You don't get it from a book" said Gary Kleinknecht, McBones educational director.

The reason the teachers were digging at this site off Clodfelter Road is because back in 1999, mammoth bones were found at the site.

The purpose of digs like today's is to gather data and evidence about the conditions of the world at the end of the ice age.

Teachers say they are trying to determine what else is out there, and the more they understand, the more they can show students how the world has changed over the years.

Teachers say it is also good to show students the real world applications of science and paleontology because it may motivate them to think about pursuing a career in those fields.