Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dr. Scott Sampson rides the Dinosaur Train to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

When it comes to little kids, few things inspire their scientific curiosity as completely as dinosaurs. At the same time, trains seem to inspire an equal measure of whimsy and imagination in children under six. So what happens when you combine these two elements? You get PBS's winning preschool program Dinosaur Train. It's smart, funny, charming, and full of fascinating facts about dinosaurs and the world in which they thrived for hundreds of millions of years.

One of the highlights of Dinosaur Train is certainly "Dr. Scott the Paleontologist," aka Dr. Scott Sampson, who appears at the end of every segment to reinforce key scientific concepts raised during the cartoon portion of the program. As an adult with my own dino-fascination, Dr. Scott is hands-down my favorite part of the show.

This weekend, Dr. Scott rides his wave of dino success into the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. I will be seeing him here in Cleveland, and am delighted that before his official appearance in the Museum's Explorer Lecture series and signing his latest book, Dr. Scott will be greeting his youngest fans at 2:00 PM in the Museum's dinosaur hall. My two little girls are completely geeked at the chance to meet Dr. Scott, and I would be lying if I didn't admit to being a little excited myself. After all, Dr. Sampson is one of the foremost minds in paleontology, not just a preschool cult hero.

If you have a kid who digs dinos, or you are looking for a little education on the subject yourself, be sure to check out Dr. Scott Sampson at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, or the Carnegie Museum this weekend. If you can't make it to Cleveland or Pittsburgh, set your Tivo to catch Dinosaur Train on your local PBS station. Your kids will love it, and you just might learn something along the way.

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