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Dinosaur State Park

Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips
With the current conditions due to the pandemic, we are offering live virtual programming for the 2020/2021 school year! Each of the virtual programs provides a dynamic and interactive format with staff at multiple locations throughout the Park! Students and educators have the opportunity to make observations and ask questions throughout the 30-minute program. These virtual programs provide a bit more depth than what would normally be available for in person activities due to the ability to show different aspects of the Park within seconds. The following topics are available:

Connecticut’s Geologic History

Be a geologist! Learn about the geologic history of Connecticut. Discover how Connecticut’s rocks allowed dinosaur tracks from the early Jurassic to be preserved until the modern day. Learn about Connecticut's minerals and explore how they can indicate the different geologic events that happened in Connecticut through time.

Connecticut’s Ancient Climate

Reconstruct the picture of the ancient Jurassic climate of Connecticut. Learn about the different types of footprints and sedimentary features we find in the Central Valley of Connecticut and how each is preserved. We will explore how the environment and animals affect each other to preserve these amazing tracks.

Dinosaurs of Connecticut

Meet the incredible creatures that roamed Connecticut during the Age of Dinosaurs!  Looking at real fossils from the State of Connecticut, students will learn about the amazing variety of dinosaurs and other animals that once called the area home some 200 million years ago.  From egg-laying mammals to pig-snouted, plant-eating crocodiles, and from fuzzy flying reptiles to enormous dinosaurs, CT’s fossil history is unlike anything else on earth.

With questions or to sign up, please contact Michael Ross at deep.dinosaur@ct.gov

Fabulous Field Trips at Dinosaur State Park (NOT OFFERED DURING THE HEALTH EMERGENCY)
Fully Guided Education Programs
Meeting the Connecticut Science Standards

Visit Dinosaur State Park where in one field trip, your students can explore a museum and enjoy the outdoors. The Park features over 500 Early Jurassic dinosaur footprints preserved in place inside the museum, alongside interactive exhibits about dinosaurs, fossils, and Connecticut geology. The Park has guided programs throughout the school year for grades 1 and up. Your visit will begin with a presentation, followed by a guided tour of the trackway and an activity with the following themes:

Grades 1-5 Fun with Fossils - Travel back in the time to learn what Connecticut was like at the time of the dinosaurs and what we can learn about dinosaurs from their footprints and fossils.  Students will examine a wide variety of fossils and dinosaur models to learn about what made dinosaurs unique. 

Grades 3-5 Rocks & Minerals Around Us - The rocks and minerals around us tell a story of dramatic changes in Connecticut over hundreds of millions of years.  We use many of these materials in our lives today.  Students will examine samples of rocks and minerals from around Connecticut, explore their distinctive properties, and discuss ways we use these materials. 

Grades 6-8 Connecticut Landforms  - The Connecticut landscape around us was shaped over hundreds of millions of years by colliding continents, erupting lava, flowing water and massive ice sheets. Students will learn how these forces interacted by examining the shape of the land surface and samples of bedrock from around the state. 

Grades 6-8 Life Through Time – We look at 4.6 billion years of the Earth’s history focusing on changes in climate and species over time.  The role of mass extinctions in changing the dominant life forms will be discussed.  Students will use cladograms to examine the relationships between different groups of animals.  

Grades 9-12 Evolution - Find out how the dinosaur footprints in Connecticut relate to the larger story of evolution through time.  We will use the rise of birds from their dinosaur ancestors as a case study for evolution.  Choose a timeline activity examining key evolutionary events or a fossil dating activity. 

Grades 9-12 Earth Systems - The dinosaur footprints and rocks found in Connecticut provide evidence for the cycling of matter and energy through the Earth system.  Students will examine rock samples from Connecticut and piece together the exciting story of moving plates and changing environments that made Connecticut what it is today.

Programs are only $3 per student for ages 6-12; $7 for ages 13 and up.  Adults are $6 each.  Minimum fee for a guided program (1.5 hours in length) is $50; Minimum group size is 10, maximum size of 60 students (call for options for larger groups).

Also available at the Park:

  • Outdoor Casting Area - Make a plaster cast of a dinosaur footprint (seasonal -bring own materials).
  • Mine for Gems and Fossils in our outdoor mining sluice (seasonal - additional fee applies).
  • Outdoor Picnic area 
  • 2.5 miles of hiking trails
  • Bookstore - contact us for information about pre-purchased "Treasure Bags" for your group.

To learn more, or to book a field trip, call the Park at (860) 529-5816 or email at deep.dinosaur@ct.gov.

Directions
400 West Street Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(Directions)

 

(860) 529-8423

State Parks Contact Information

Email:

deep.stateparks@ct.gov

Telephone:

(860) 424-3200
(866) 287-2757
(Toll Free in CT)

Fax:

(860) 424-4070

Content last updated October 2020