The Palaeontological Association aims to raise awareness of palaeontology and associated sciences via public outreach events and by awarding outreach grants. The Association is a major sponsor of the two main Fossil Festivals held annually in the UK, at Lyme Regis and in Yorkshire, and has a strong presence at both festivals, providing displays and activities for school groups and the general public. Palaeontological Association outreach grants are awarded annually, in order to facilitate innovative projects to engage the public with fossils and inspire the next generation of professional palaeontologists.
If you wish to contact the Palaeontological Association about outreach and education please use our contact form and select the Outreach and Education Officers: Contact Us Form
The Palaeontological Association outreach team will be delivering activities on the theme of ‘fossilisation’ at the Yorkshire Fossil Festival 2017 in Scarborough, 22nd-24th September. Schools will be given priority on Friday 22nd, with the festival open to all over the weekend.
Join us to handle some real fossils, make your own fossil to take home, or try to become fossilised in our ‘Fossilisation Frenzy’ game. Palaeoartist James McKay will be joining us to create paintings of the public’s favourite fossils or imaginary prehistoric creatures.
Awards are made to encourage educational outreach, public engagement, and related initiatives in palaeontological themes.
At Lyme Regis Fossil Festival 2017 (27th-30th April), the Palaeontological Association outreach team presented activities on the theme of ‘fossilisation’, enthusiastically assisted by postgraduate volunteers. We engaged with 182 secondary school children during a special day at Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, and a further 267 children on primary schools day.
Thousands of members of the public visited the festival across the weekend. A Jurassic diorama by palaeoartist James McKay provided the dramatic backdrop (image above) to our fossil display, which allowed the public to get hands-on with life in the seas 200 million years ago. Our ‘Fossilisation Frenzy’ board game was very popular, despite teaching people the hard way that trying to become a fossil is very challenging, with the odds very much stacked against you. Younger visitors enjoyed making their own mould fossil or miniature dinosaur footprint in salt dough to take home. James McKay joined us for the weekend, creating stunning paintings of people’s imaginary prehistoric creatures or favourite fossils.