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Barnes Butte Elementary second-graders become paleontologists, dig for fossils at Barnes Butte Recreational Area

HOLLY SCHOLZ/CENTRAL OREGONIAN 
 - Second-graders in Kim Bartolotti's Barnes Butte Elementary class searched for fossils at the Barnes Butte Recreational Area Friday morning as part of their paleontology Storyline.

"I found something!"

"I found an egg!"

"I found another one," the intern paleontologists screamed as they dug into the moist dirt with their bare hands.

One after another, the second-graders unearthed small, beige eggs.

Could they be fossilized dinosaur eggs?

On Friday morning, City of Prineville City Engineer Eric Klann told the four classes of Barnes Butte Elementary second-graders that the city is starting to develop the Barnes Butte Recreational Area, which is adjacent to their school.

"I was out here digging some test holes, and I got into something. I'm not sure what it is," he told the youngsters, reminding them to be careful not to damage what could be fossils. "I would like you guys to take them home and inspect them and then let me know what you find."

For their Storyline, the second-graders have become paleontologists and will learn about fossils. The field trip to the Barnes Butte Recreational Area was one of their hands-on activities.

The other grade levels study different Storyline topics. Third-graders are researchers of the rainforest, and fourth-graders are sailors and are heading across the ocean to learn about science and geography. The fifth-grade students will focus on space in their Storyline.

HOLLY SCHOLZ/CENTRAL OREGONIAN 
 - Ellie Rayevich admires her prehistoric find.Other BBE teachers have also incorporated the Barnes Butte Recreational Area into the Storyline for their students.

"First graders are junior planners for the Barnes Butte Complex," BBE Academic Coach Sarah Klann said.

Eric Klann wants input from the first-graders about what they would like to see developed on the Barnes Butte Recreational Area. He will share their suggestions with the Barnes Butte Recreational Area Master Planning Committee when they meet in late May.

"I've asked them to become our professional planners for the site," he said of the first-graders. "The first thing I ask them to do is help me understand what's up here."

Students have described the geologic features on the property, the animals, and how people are currently using the area.

"I've asked them to go back and give us some ideas for how they would like it developed," he said. "I really like the Storyline method of education, and it's just wonderful that they're right here, and they can come out here."

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