Jurassic Mile: Children’s Museum team working to dig up dinosaurs highlights women in STEM careers

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CODY, Wy.– We first brought the story about the Jurassic Mile and the group of scientists digging up dinosaur bones from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to you last week.

But did you notice anything special about the crew at the dig site?

Most of the scientists working on site and in the lab are women.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers have been dominated by men for decades.

Scientists with the Children’s Museum on the dig site

Dr. Jennifer Anné is a paleontologist who works at the Children’s Museum and hopes highlighting this team will help break the stereotypes associated with these kind of professions.

Dr. Jennifer Anné

“There are a lot of very, very, very, very cool female scientists who were paleontologists, who just are amazing. They have great research. There are many labs run by female paleontologists,” she said.

Dr. Victoria Egerton is one of the researchers at the Jurassic Mile. She’s been at the dig site for the past five summers.

“For me, I love being out here in the field digging, but not all scientists want to do that. Some scientists want to be in the lab. It can be hard, but you know what? Anybody can be a scientist, especially girls and young women,” Dr. Egerton said.

Meghan Newman is another scientist who became interested in paleontology at a young age. In her case, she was seven years old and had just visited the Children’s Museum.

“I have this really vivid memory of digging in the dig pit in an exhibit that’s no longer there, but I just remember the thrill of trying to discover something new being in that dig pit and trying to see what else could be uncovered,” Newman said.

Dr. Victoria Egerton

Newman hopes working in the lab and talking with children who visit the Children’s Museum will get inspired to explore STEM fields.

“It’s important for them to see different people in these science and math roles, just to realize, ‘Hey, these are really good options for me,'” she said.

The team hopes highlighting the women in the lab will encourage all children to pursue their dreams.

“My biggest advice for kids is that if you’re passionate about something like dinosaurs, then just read everything you can,” Dr. Egerton said. Learn everything you can about it.”

The new Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is set to open in March of 2022. It will showcase their work and discoveries at the Jurassic Mile.

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