Dinosaurs Come to Life at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children

Moveable Museum Allows Children with Special Needs to Learn About Ancient Creatures

Thanks to a free program provided by the American Museum of Natural History, the children of St. Mary’s enjoyed a state-of-the art walk-in exhibition site filled with ancient artifacts and fossils about one of the most mysterious wonders of the world- dinosaurs.

St. Mary’s kids didn’t even have to leave the Bayside hospital as the world of dinosaurs came right to them. The “moveable museum” is housed in a large recreational van complete with interactive activities, interpretive models, captivating video presentations, and numerous fossil specimens that St. Mary’s kids were completely awed by as they learned about the existence of ancient animals that roamed the earth centuries ago.

Patients of all ages visited three primary zones. “Age of Dinosaurs,” examining fossil evidence to understand what may have caused the mass extinction about 65 million years ago, “Mesozoic Mysteries,” considering questions about dinosaur diet, movement, and behavior, and “Bird-Dino Connection,” featuring a diorama re-creation of a 130-million-year-old prehistoric forest in what is now Liaoning Province, China.

The educational outreach program aims to bring a unique learning experience to children across New York City and the moveable museum travels to schools, libraries and community organizations within the 5 boroughs. It was a dynamic opportunity especially for St. Mary’s kids, some of the most seriously ill and injured children in the NY area, as their life-limiting conditions and unique needs make is difficult for them to enjoy a day out at the museum. But the museum came to them and they were overjoyed to be able to participate