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Dressed in a long dark cloak and staff in hand, geology professor Thor Hansen, bellowed “You shall not pass!” Children seated in the lecture hall, some dressed in dinosaur costumes, filled the Science, Math, and Technology Education building on Saturday Feb. 27, ready to learn about the prehistoric creatures that roamed the earth. Professors and students joined the children to hear all about “The Secret Lives of Dinosaurs” and watched as Hansen walked across the desk to simulate the dinosaur saunter. Senior Sara Veneruso had previously taken a class with Hansen and said she was excited to learn more about the prehistoric creatures. “I like dinosaurs, and I took his dinosaurs class, so I thought it would be really cool,” Veneruso said. For sophomore Dustin Brock, the lecture was more about refreshing his knowledge on dinosaurs. “I’m really interested in anthropology and paleontology, so this class was just kind of fun,” Brock said. Associate dean of the college of Science and Engineering Brad Johnson said the importance of community involvement with Western activities helps to broaden the interest for younger generations. Johnson said that many people don’t follow what the math, science and technology department are doing, so they decided to create two different series for the community stay up to date. “One is aimed more for kids, to get them interested and involved in things that are going on, and the other is a science and university series which is taught by professors on the research that they do,” Johnson said. Brock said that he is glad that children are being offered  a refreshed perspective on the prehistoric world. “I remember these classes when I was a little kid,” Brock said. The range of children showing up is anywhere from elementary to middle school, Johnson said. Senior Wilson Stolle found the event to be helpful and informative to children of all ages. “It’s a great event for all sorts of little kids, and I highly suggest parents go and take their kids to these events,” Stolle said. The event lends importance to the Science, Math, and Technology department, but to Western itself, Johnson said. “We would like to keep this program going and make sure that we are making an impact in the community, we want Western to be a positive impact in the community of Bellingham and Whatcom county,” Johnson said. For more information on Wizards@Western, and any upcoming events go to https://cse.wwu.edu/smate/smate-events for more details.


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