I knew that I would have an Ice Age lesson week coming up in the future and wanted to find a local museum that had fossils as well as life size examples of these prehistoric beasts. I stumbled upon a museum I had never heard of.
Western Science Center is located next to the Diamond Valley Lake, which is the largest man made lake in southern California. While preparing the area for the lake, paleontologist came across some amazingly in tact Mastodon fossils. “Max” was found 17 feet below the surface and 9% of his bones were there. That is a huge amount since normally only a few bones or fragments of bones are found.
With this huge discovery, the Science Center was created to preserve the history of the area and allow others a glimpse into the past. The museum has artifacts and replicas of items found in the area from all different points in time. They also have a few hands on activities for children, such as making clay fossils, fossil rubbings, puzzles and more.
A traveling exhibit also fills the halls, at this time it’s a history of water. It is amazing reading the facts about water and how much is needed to supply us with daily necessities. The most shocking fact was that 1 in 10 child deaths in the world are from drinking unclean water. I was not aware of this crisis and it was eye opening to hear some of these facts.
An unreal experience was sitting on rocks in a theater that almost completely surrounds you, watching the unearthing of these giant fossils on the screen. They also had lifelike animation of mastodons and saber tooth cats roaming as if they were a fixture in our normal society.
I am always amazed by the sheer size of these extinct animals, it’s hard to believe that they roamed the earth that we live on now. I am also very amazed that there are human beings on this earth that spend their days with little tiny tools, unearthing these huge specimens. They have to be the most patient individuals. I am glad that all their hard work and patience pays off for us and our future generations, preserving what was by piecing together.
This is a small museum and did not take much time to go through, but it was a nice visit and not as crowded as some museums. If you are ever in the area of the Western Science Center, it would be a nice stop to take your children. For more information on their hours, location and prices, check out their website at http://www.westerncentermuseum.org/
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