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MUSEUM TEACHES KIDS THE FINE ART OF SCIENCE

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With a little dish soap, rubbing alcohol and meat tenderizer you can extract DNA from dried peas.

That's one of many things children ranging in age from 4 to 12 and their parents learned Saturday at Science and Creativity Day at the Utah Museum of Natural History.More than 130 children attended the event, which not only introduced kids to the sciences but also raised money for the museum's education program.

The children enjoyed hands-on activities in the fields of anthropology, geology and biology.

They ground corn with rocks and made bead necklaces. They learned the significance of beads to North American Indians.

Six- and 7-year-olds wearing paper dinosaur hats made fossil molds out of plaster of Paris, learned about the DNA in woolly mammoths and made dinosaur sock puppets.

Kids learned about fault lines and saw a video of an actual earthquake in California. They also got to experience what an earthquake really feels like by standing on a board balanced on a rock.

The earthquake assimilator was Vince Major's favorite part of the day. The 9-year-old, who came with his parents and sisters, also liked DNA extraction.

"I liked it because I've always wanted to mix DNA from something to make new animals," he said.

The kids weren't the only ones learning new things. Parents seemed to ask the demonstrators the most questions. "That's the way it always is," said Ginny Dignam, a docent for the museum. Teachers who come with their classes to the museum also are full of questions, she said.

But that's OK, said Dignam. "We all need to learn our whole life."