Friday, April 3, 2009

Dinosaurs, Art, and Science and a Great Videoconference

Junior high art students from Keystone High School learned much about skulls, dinosaurs, and sketching when they participated in "Fleshing the Bones: An Introduction to the Art and Science of Drawing Dinosaurs." This program, presented by the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and distributed via videoconferencing through Magpi, was introduced as follows:
In 1868 the first dinosaur skeleton, Hadrosaurus foulkii, was mounted and put on display at The Academy of Natural Sciences. This momentous event was the result of a collaboration between and artist and a scientist. The ability to visualize an extinct animal as a living creature continues to be the work of scientists and artists working together to study the skeletal anatomy of these animals. How do scientific illustrators accurately represent the anatomy of extinct animals, known only from their fossils?
During the videoconference, students compared the skulls of modern animals with those of the hadrosaur. They then started their own sketches of the dinosaur and will reconvene with Academy staff and the five other participating schools via videoconferencing equipment later this month to share their completed drawings.

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