Focus Day 4: National Fossil Day

WEDNESDAY  --  The annual National Fossil Day is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of fossils.


National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.

Get involved

How can you get your students involved with National Fossil Day?  You may want to start by reviewing some definitions of fossils and paleontology, thanks to these FAQs on the National Fossil Day website.

Educational activities have been compiled by the National Park Service on the National Fossil Day website. The activities are broken down into the categories of art, history, math, reading and writing, and science inquiry.

The Pennsylvania State Fossil

Introduce your students to the Pennsylvania State Fossil, the trilobite Phacops rana! See the description on the PA DCNR website.

DID YOU KNOW... When the 2nd grade science class of Valley Elementary School heard that there was no state fossil they set out to rectify it. Learning that Phacops rana, a trilobite, were predominant in Pennsylvania about 250 million years ago, they appealed to Rep. Edward F. Burns, Jr. of Bucks County to sponsor legistlation to make Phacops the state fossil. As a result, Phacops rana became the state fossil, as enacted by the General Assembly on December 5, 1988.

"Fossils of Phacops rana are found in many parts of Pennsylvania, and, therefore, the Phacops rana is selected, designated and adopted as the official State fossil of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."  --  Designated December 5, 1988


In the PAESTA Classroom/PAESTA Podcast

Here are materials on the PAESTA website to share with your students.

PAESTA Podcast Series: Episode 2 - What is the Difference Between Paleontology, Archaeology, and Anthropology?

In the PAESTA Classroom

And from the In The News - Current Event series in the PAESTA Classroom: