By John Craig, WNED vice president of education/outreach
When I was school-aged, we didn’t have “take your child to work day,” as they do now. Many schools carry on this tradition through shadowing days in their parents actual work settings – learning what they do while away from home every day. Imagine if one of your parents was a research scientist or better yet, a paleoanthropologist! “A what?”
A professional researcher learns their craft by spending countless days and hours outdoors in remote areas of the world. They look and dig around for specimens that have diminished into bone fragments or fossils millions of years ago. Many of these professionals can spend a lifetime pursuing a chance discovery that could lead to ground-breaking scientific evidence. Many times they are never lucky enough to make any kind of significant find, while others are elevated into rock star status if they happen to come upon that fragment that changes the current theory or thought.
Well, what if your nine-year-old son or daughter was out on a “take your child to work day” with their father and happened to make a very significant scientific discovery that changed mankind’s understanding of our origins?