PBS ‘Dinosaur Train’ host Dr. Scott, T-rex Buddy to appear at Fla. Museum March 26

March 5th, 2010

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Dr. Scott the paleontologist, and Buddy the T-rex from the popular PBS TV show “Dinosaur Train” will visit the Florida Museum of Natural History from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 26 for a free public program.

Presented in partnership with WUFT-TV/DT and the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County, the event features educational, dinosaur-themed activities and an opportunity for children to meet Buddy, the star of the newest PBS KIDS show. Activities include dinosaur games, songs, coloring stations, a meet and greet session and more.

“We are extremely eager to work with the Florida Museum of Natural History because we believe the knowledge of dinosaurs, paleontology, evolution and natural history is an integral part of the educational process for the youth and adults of North Florida,” said Pamela Shamel, director of education and outreach for WUFT-TV/DT.

Dr. Scott the paleontologist, host of “Dinosaur Train,” will introduce a screening of the show, take questions from the audience and be available for photographs and autographs with visitors. “Dr. Scott” is Scott Sampson, a dinosaur paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and curator at the Utah Museum of Natural History. Sampson also will present a free public lecture and book signing at the Florida Museum at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 25.

“Few things inspire children’s scientific curiosity as completely as dinosaurs,” said Florida Museum assistant director for education and visitor services Jamie Creola. “Trains also seem to create an equal measure of whimsy and imagination in children under 6. The combination of these two elements has produced the award-winning “Dinosaur Train” preschool program, a smart, funny, charming show full of fascinating facts about dinosaurs and the world in which they thrived for millions of years.”

“Dinosaur Train” airs on WUFT-TV/DT at 9:30 a.m. Monday-Friday and helps kids ages 3-6 apply scientific thinking as they discover new types of dinosaur species, compare and contrast dinosaurs to today’s creatures and embrace paleontology and natural science. The program promotes critical thinking skills for preschoolers based on engaging and creative curriculum.

“Dinosaur Train” was created by Craig Bartlett and is produced by The Jim Henson Company, best known as creators of the world famous Muppets.

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Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu

About WUFT-TV/DT
WUFT-TV/DT broadcasts to16 counties in North Central Florida (21 via cable). WUFT broadcasts programming from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and other venues, as well as local news, public affairs and entertainment shows. WUFT broadcasts via three digital channels: the main channel, 5.1 broadcasts in High Definition (HD); 5.2 is Standard Definition (SD) and features PBS Create; Channel 5.3 offers programming from the Florida Knowledge Network and PBS World. WUFT-TV/DT is on Cox Cable Channel 3 in Gainesville. The additional digital channels, 5.2 and 5.3 are on Cox Cable Channel 113 and 114 respectively. The WUFT studios are located in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and serve as a training facility for telecommunication students.

About the Florida Museum of Natural History
The Florida Museum of Natural History is Florida’s state natural history museum, dedicated to understanding, preserving and interpreting biological diversity and cultural heritage. It is located near the intersection of Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza in Gainesville. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Butterfly Rainforest admission is $9.50 for adults ($8 Fla. residents) and $5 for children ages 3-12. Prices subject to change. For more information, including directions and parking, call 352-846-2000, or visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu.

About Dinosaur Train
Dinosaur Train begins when Buddy is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon and brought to their nest to hatch at the same time as his new siblings, Tiny, Shiny and Don. Buddy and his new family have an insatiable desire to learn about the different types of dinosaurs, so they board the wondrous Dinosaur Train, which allows them to travel and explore the world inhabited by these amazing creatures.

Departing from Pteranodon Station, the Dinosaur Train is a colorful locomotive, customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs. Windows are perfect for the long-necked herbivores, and there’s plenty of head room in the Observation Car for the Giganotosaurus, giving all the species onboard a chance to check out the prehistoric world as they ride the train. The Dinosaur Train has the ability to visit the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous worlds, while the train’s conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with “cool Dino facts” along the way.

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