Starting in November of my junior year I interned at the Yale invertebrate paleontology lab. Most of what I did was to catalog the fossils into a database. The purpose of this was to put all of these fossils’ information is in one place so that people doing research would have easy access to have information on many different fossils instead of having to spend much more time looking at all the different fossils individually. For example people researching climate change could quickly look at the locations of these different fossils to see things like the rise and fall of sea levels back then to be able to use it to predict future sea level changes.
Over the summer I start to work on creating an interactive cart to teach children about these fossils. A few other people and I did some research on the fossils from the Ordovician and Pennsylvanian period, which was the two periods in which most of the fossils from my internship were from. We also created several videos for the people to view on a kiosk. These videos go through the process of how the fossils are found and taken out of the ground to how they are cataloged, put into the fossil database, and put into the collections. The some of the videos go over some information about the organisms that became those specific fossils and what we can learn from this information or the big idea of this database. We also designed a part of the cart where children would be able to look at some real fossils from these periods and be able to use the kiosk to be able to identify it and then learn something about the fossil that they are looking at.