PotashCorp's phosphate products help feed the world by providing nutrition for crops and livestock but for this company, helping feed hungry minds is just as important.
"We've designed a fossil kit to teach students about phosphorus, which comes from the remains of ancient marine life and is mined from phosphate rock," said Curtis Ormond, Communications Specialist at PotashCorp's phosphate facility at Aurora, North Carolina.
Nearly 500 free fossil kits went out to classrooms throughout North America in 2006 and the first two months of 2007.
"These 20-pound buckets of mining remnants are devoid of phosphorus but rich in ancient shark teeth, fish bones and seashells," Ormond said. "Teachers also receive a booklet describing the various Pliocene and Miocene age fossils students may find in the remnant material."
Teachers who have taught an earth science class using a PotashCorp fossil kit say it is a hit with students.
John Eppich, who teaches at Kickapoo Nation School in Powhattan, Kansas is also an avid fossil hunter. He ordered kits for his school after experiencing the excitement of digging through a remnant pile outside the Fossil Museum in Aurora.
"In our earth science class we talk about geological time and changes to land, sea and species," said Eppich. "Having the students dig for fossils brings the teaching to life for (them in a way) that books and pictures just can't do."
His students definitely enjoyed the experience.
"I liked looking for shark teeth," said sixth grader Mishenia Allen. "I found a really big tooth, a great white shark's, a bull shark tooth, and a tiger shark tooth. I found shells and coral."
Teachers who are interested in receiving a fossil kit, please submit a request in writing to PotashCorp on your school's letterhead. We will issue one kit per school for educational purposes, and it will be shipped directly to the school.
To submit your request for a fossil kit, Email Curtis.
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