There is a saying that March may "come in like a lion and go out like a lamb." What would it be like if March came in like a dinosaur?
How did the dinosaurs walk? Did they run? How long is the length of your step compared to some of our favorite dinosaurs? How does your mom or dad's step compare?
You can compare the length of your steps to the length of the steps of some famous dinosaurs by doing the following activity. You will need:
Sam, from Corpus Christi Parish School
1) large room or outside on the sidewalk
2) masking tape or sidewalk chalk
3) meter tape or meter stick
4) cardboard or heavy paper to cut out footprint stencils
What to do:
Step 1: Have your mom, dad, or an older relative or friend help you. Science is always fun to do together.
Step 2: If you do the activity inside, make sure you have room to walk for a short distance (several steps). For the inside activity, you can mark your steps with a small piece of masking tape. If you choose to do the activity outside and you have permission, you can mark your steps with sidewalk chalk.
Step 3: Walk normally for a few steps. After each step, have your adult helper mark where you stepped. You will need to mark where your foot started and where it moved (two marks - the starting line and the first step).
Step 4: Continue to walk for a few more steps. Mark each step with tape or with sidewalk chalk.
Step 5: With pencil, write your name on the masking tape or have your adult helper write it for you. If you are outside on the sidewalk and using sidewalk chalk, you can write your name in sidewalk chalk also.
Step 6: Have your adult helper also walk normally for a few steps and repeat the activity by marking where the steps are. Your adult helper should also write his or her name on the masking tape that marks his or her steps.
Step 7: With the meter tape or meter stick, measure the distance between your steps. Write this down on your paper or have an adult help you.
Step 8: Measure the distance between your adult helper's steps and write this number down as well.
Step 9: Who had the longer steps?
Step 10: You can also trace your foot and your adult helper's foot on cardboard or heavy paper. Cut out the traced foot and place the "feet" where your footprints were.
Now imagine that you are a Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. rex) and you are walking around trying to find your supper. How long would the step of a T. rex be? To find out, try the following activity. You will need the same materials that you used in the first activity.
Step 1: Mark the floor or the sidewalk with a starting point and label it T. rex.
Step 2: Measure 4.6 meters (15 feet) from the masking tape labeled T. rex and your new mark. This was the length of a T. rex footstep! A T. rex may have been able to run up to 24 kilometers per hour (15 miles per hour). This dinosaur was over 6 meters (just under 20 feet) tall and 12 meters (about 39 feet) long and may have weighed over 7 tons!
Next, look at the size of your footprint and your adult helper's footprint that you traced and cut out. If you measure it, compare that size with the size of a T. rex footprint that was over 46 cm long (1.5 feet)! A T. rex sort of walked on its toes, so the actual foot was really over 1 meter long!
Another dinosaur that you can compare your footprint size and the length of your step with is the Coelophysis. The Coelophysis was a very early dinosaur that was about 2.8 meters long (about 9 feet) and had a stride length of over .75 meters (2.5 feet).
The Coelophysis footprint was about 10 centimeters (4 inches) long. You can print off a stencil for the Coelophysis footprint at www.smartcenter.org/ovpm/ dinosaurfootprint
How does the Coelophysis footprint compare to your footprint size and to your stride?
The Coelophysis probably ran fast and may also have hunted in groups, although paleontologists are not certain.
The winner of the SMART Centre Market's Name Our Coelophysis contest used the idea that the Coelophysis was a fast runner and named it "Fleet." Another meaning for the word fleet is a group moving together. Fleet can also mean something that does not last long or is temporary.
The winner of the contest is Shanaya Poling, a second-grade student from Rosanna Latacz's class at Hilltop Elementary School in Marshall County. More than 100 names were submitted to the contest. Our judges had a difficult time deciding on the best name.
Congratulations to Shanaya and her teacher, Mrs. Latacz. Each of them will receive a $50 gift certificate to use at the new science store, SMART Centre Market, next to Centre Market in Wheeling.