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Archive for Monday, April 12, 1999

KU MUSEUMS GO ON EXHIBIT

April 12, 1999

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Children got a chance to play and to learn a little Sunday at Kansas University's museums.

Jade Holmes, 9, had a pretty clear idea of what mosasaurs ate -- and it wasn't hangers.

"There's a hanger in there," she said, climbing out of the dinosaur's "stomach," a paper tunnel dino crawl, at the Kansas University Natural History museum. The fish she saw in the giant lizard's stomach belonged there, she said, but not the zebra or the hanger.

The dino crawl was one of several activities Sunday at the museum for Museum Day. Others included the dedication of the new mosasaur exhibit, a dig for sharks' teeth and wandering dino minstrels, singing of the fall of the giants.

Between 800 and 1,000 people were expected to check out the exhibits and activities at the 19th annual Museum Day. The Museum of Anthropology in Spooner Hall, the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum in Dyche Hall and the Wilcox Classical Museum in Lippincott Hall all took part in and sponsored the event.

Jeanette DeVilbiss brought Jade, her daughter, and three of Jade's friends -- Caitlin Carbaugh, 9, Regan Keller, 7, and Rachel Keller, 9 -- to the check out the activities.

"Anything they put on is usually pretty good," she said.

The crew started out at the Natural History Museum, where they learned about mosasaurs, giant swimming lizards from the Mesozoic Period.

"They showed you bones and told you how old they were," Jade said. "...You had to guess where the tongue went and everything."

Just across the street at the Museum of Anthropology, Kelly Calvert Pfannenstiel and her son, Calvert, 6, where working on a miniature dig.

Calvert looked for different items, like broken arrow points and stone working tools, in a sandbox marked off with a string grid while Shelly Brown, a graduate student, helped out.

"Is it that one?" he asked.

He'd been asking questions all day, his mother said.

"He was quizzing the scientist" at the dinosaur exhibits, she said.

Down the hill at the Spencer, Dylan Guthrie, 7, worked intently on a self-portrait using a snapshot a museum worker took as a model.

"I'm never good at doing faces," he said, working with crayons. "I'm usually good at doing shirts."

Not long after, Jade and her friends came in and sat at another table, sketching out their portraits. They were only on their second museum.

"I wish we had more time," DeVilbiss said.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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