Carnegie Museum of Natural History

For more information, contact:
Kathleen Bodenlos
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
412.622.3361 (office)

March 14, 2016


Carnegie Museum of Natural History Breaking the Mold on Ways to Study Climate Change

Pittsburgh, Pa… Albert Kollar, Section of Invertebrate Paleontology, introduced students from Shady Side Academy Middle School to an extensive fossil trilobite collection from sites around the world to explain scientific theories of climate, extinction, and evolution. Students had the opportunity to break rocks that contained fossils, learn about evolution and extinction from the section's fossil collection, and touch fossil fuel rocks such as coal and Marcellus Shale.

"Trilobites are popular with kids of any age and belong to a group of animals called arthropods that include horseshoe crabs and insects," said Mr. Kollar.

Mr. Kollar used fossils from different periods of the Paleozoic era to show how trilobites changed and evolved over millions of years.

The trilobites that the students touched and held come from the ancient rocks found today in the Czech Republic, France, Sweden, British Columbia, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Utah, and Pennsylvania- the home of the 390 million year old state fossil of Pennsylvania.

During the annual spring fieldtrip to the museum on March 11, about 70 students in grade 6 participated in art and natural history activities that work in conjunction with science curriculum at Shady Side Academy.

“We’ve been studying fossils and geological time … what Albert’s doing here relates directly to what we’re doing in the classroom,” said Matt Brunner, a Shady Side Academy earth science teacher. “They’re not just looking at fossils, but seeing how they’re used in the real world.”

Arriving at the Section of Invertebrate Paleontology lab, the students received a fossil coloring book to teach them about rocks and fossils in the Pittsburgh area. The class then split into smaller groups, each getting their own try at identifying rocks and fossils from Pennsylvania or making molds of different fossils from the collection with Plaster of Paris.

In the past 12 years, hundreds Shady Side Academy students in grade 6 earth science have passed through the Section of Invertebrate Paleontology fossil and geology programs, some have even gone on to study at top geology schools in the country.


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top six natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,