DIG Field School

Prepare to get your hands dirty and teach with a whole new perspective!

Over the course of four days each summer, K–12 teachers can get hands-on experience in paleontology, geology and evolution by participating in active field research. Investigate the extinction of dinosaurs and the rise of mammals, then take what you learn with you back into the classroom with the DIG Box.

group of people excavating a fossil

DIG participants and Burke Museum volunteers excavate the back legs of an exceptionally preserved hadrosaur dinosaur found during the 2013 DIG Field School. Photo: Burke Museum.

group gathered at an excavation site

As one DIG participant said, "working side by side with paleontologists was amazing. The DIG really changed how I view teaching."

group posing in front of excavation site

A group of DIG participants take a break from work to pose for the camera. Photo: Lauren Berg.

DIG participant sketching

DIG 2014 participant Mike uses his observational skills to draw a picture of the outcrop before him.
Photo: Burke Museum

hammer and other excavation tools

These might not be your average teacher tools, but the insights teachers gain as part of DIG are readily integrated into the classroom.
Photo: Tom Wolken

Program Details

The DIG Field School is free for teachers and includes:

  • Four days at an active paleontological field research site
  • Continuing Education Units for participants
  • Lesson plans and course materials
  • Ongoing educational coaching
Bring the DIG to your classroom!
DIG Field School participants can supplement your classroom science teaching with two hands-on resources for students.
  • DIG Box: This portable kit filled with real and replica fossils, lesson plans, classroom activities, and more, will familiarize your students with geology and paleontology while introducing them to authentic scientific research. Activities can be adapted for grades K-12.
  • Microfossil Sediment Box: Get your hands dirty again! We'll send a bag of sediment and your students can help look for microfossils in paleontological dig samples. The fossils you separate are sent back to the Burke for curation and your students are active participants in real UW research.


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