Educational Resources

Educational Resources provided by the Tate Geological Museum:

Museum Outreach

Tate Virtual Tours

To organize your classroom or group’s live, interactive virtual tour, please call the museum at 307-268-3026 or email (preferred) Patti at pfinkle@caspercollege.edu. All of these tours can be adapted for any age group or learning outcomes. Please let us know if you have specific requests when you schedule your tour.

Teeth, Claws and Dinosaurs: Animals have different sizes and shapes of teeth, claws and bones to help them to feed and survive, and dinosaurs were no different!  In this virtual tour the Tate Geological Museum education specialist will show the students dinosaur teeth, claws, eggs and other fossils from a variety of prehistoric animals and explain how we can look at their shapes to determine if each animal was an herbivore or a carnivore. How did the carnivores kill their prey? How did the herbivores protect themselves? What did a dinosaur use its tail for? The answers are all right there in the teeth and bones! This tour is geared towards students ranging from Pre-school age up to 2nd grade, but slightly older students could still enjoy it. Please let us know at least two weeks in advance if your class is older, so we can adjust content.

NOTE: Classes in Natrona and Converse Counties are welcome to pick up a bin of identical replicas of specimens so that they can get a hands-on experience with the fossils and see the features up-close which help a palӕontologist deduce a prehistoric animal’s lifestyle.

Rocks and Minerals: What is the difference between rocks and minerals? How do geologists tell different kinds of minerals apart? This is a presentation of minerals and rocks, and an explanation of the various intrinsic properties that geologists use to distinguish them, including luster, fracture, crystal structure and cleavage planes. We will make use of the Tate Geological Museum’s extensive collection of specimens, so that students can see great examples of minerals such as quartz, calcite, hematite, selenite and others.  This tour is aimed at 4th graders, but students anywhere from 3rd grade up through middle school ought to find it interesting and informative. Please let us know at least two weeks in advance if your class is older, so we can adjust content.

NOTE: Classes in Natrona and Converse counties are welcome to pick up a bin of similar specimens so that they can closely examine such features as crystal shape, luster, cleavage planes and fracture patterns.

An abbreviated version of “The Rocks of Casper Mountain” tour can be found on our YouTube page. Be sure to watch all three segments!

From Turtles to T. Rex Tate Geological Museum Tour: Take a virtual tour of the Tate Geological Museum’s collection of fossil creatures! Wyoming has produced some of the most numerous and spectacular fossils in the world, and the Tate showcases some of the finest. See Dee (the largest Columbian mammoth mounted for display anywhere in the country) Nicole the Torosaurus (which had the biggest head of any dinosaur) and Ben’s Big Turtle (How big? The size of a coffee table!) and we can’t forget Lee Rex (the only T. rex found in Wyoming that has stayed in Wyoming!) as well as many other fascinating creatures from the past including the skull of another Tyrannosaurus rex, pterodactyl footprints and even a fossil whale. This tour is designed for students ranging from 2nd grade up through 5th grade, but middle schoolers or even high-schoolers should still be able to get a lot out of it.  Please let us know at least two weeks in advance if your class is older, so we can adjust content.

NOTE: Classes in Natrona and Converse counties are welcome to pick up bin with a selection of fossil replicas to add a hands-on component to this experience.

Scavenger Hunt

Do you want your visit to the Tate Geological Museum to be more interactive? Try to answer all of these questions while you’re here!

  1. During which epoch did Dee live?
  2. Were mammoths herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores? How do we know this?
  3. Who has a bigger brain, humans or Tyrannosaurus rex?
  4. What product mined in Wyoming is used in kitty litter?
  5. Where was Wyoming located during the Cambrian period?
  6. Describe the climate in Wyoming during Eocene time. How do we know this?
  7. On the touch table is a fossil that might be described as the “Milky Way.” What kind of fossil is this and what part are you seeing in the rock?
  8. Name the three types of meteorites. Which is most common?
  9. Name the two types of jade.
  10. Which Oligocene animal has a tooth shaped like the Greek letter pi?
  11. Name one Triceratops bone on exhibit.
  12. What is a theropod? How many toes do they have?
  13. What shape are the scales on a gar?
  14. Where was Dee’s skull found? Describe a hypothesis as to why the skull was not near the rest of the skeleton.
  15. What was Ben’s BIg Turtle’s last meal?
  16. What is the chemical formula for Stibnite? Is it a silicate or non-silicate mineral?
  17. What was one of the largest predators of the White River badlands?
  18. What marine animal had the largest eye of any vertebrate?
  19. What kind of animal is “Twinkle Toes?”
  20. During what era was the granite that makes up the core of Casper Mountain formed?
  21. What kind of teeth does a whale need to eat a mixed diet? Use the whale wheel to help answer this question. Can Basilosaurus eat a mixed diet?
  22. What type of animal is Oomtar? Where was he discovered?
  23. What do the dark gray circular areas on Dee’s skull indicate?

Print a version of this scavenger hunt (with spaces for answers) for your Tate Museum visit. (PDF available upon request)

We encourage you to come on in to the museum and try the scavenger hunt, but if you must know the answers… (PDF available upon request)

Teaching Trunks

The trunks are currently under construction to better meet the needs of current curriculum. The old trunks are still available for check out, though. Please call the museum at 307-268-2447 to reserve your trunk today!