Our very first Research Quest, The Mysteries of Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, engages students in a series of virtual, web-based research investigations. Because who doesn't love dinosaurs as a gateway to critical thinking? This Research Quest invites students to help museum scientists solve one of the greatest mysteries in paleontology: What happened 150 million years ago that caused so many dinosaurs to die at a single spot in what is now the city of Cleveland, Utah?
Guided by their teachers — and using online tools including 3D models of dinosaur bones and short videos with museum scientists — students work collaboratively to help answer this question, and a series of other questions that scientists grapple with every day to help identify dinosaurs and their cause of death. In addition to exploring what happened at Cleveland-Lloyd, the included Dino Lab simulation-based game software invites students to better understand the physical features that help a dinosaur survive by building their own dinosaur from the bones up.
Throughout each Research Quest, students engage in robust debate about current research as they develop theories to explain their ideas; all while having fun engaging in the essential practice necessary to hone their critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.