Natural History Museum of Utah unveils traveling exhibit at Zions Bank

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14 2014 5:25 p.m. MST

Ke'Seana Spillers and other students in Dayna Madsen's fifth-grade class from Taylorsville Elementary School help unveil the displays at the Zions Bank Financial Center in Taylorsville on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, as part of the unveiling of the Natural History Museum of Utahs new Traveling Treasures exhibit, A Fossils Journey.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

TAYLORSVILLE — Byron Dalton uncovered something unexpected Tuesday at Zions Bank.

"You find this kind of stuff in a museum, but not in a bank," the 10-year-old said.

The Natural History Museum of Utah called on fifth-graders from Taylorsville Elementary School to unveil its newest mobile exhibit, "A Fossil's Journey," at Zions Bank, 5482 S. Redwood Road.

"I thought it was amazing," Byron said after he and nine other students unveiled the displays. "I've never seen a stegosaurus spike or a raptor tail before. That spike is huge."

The exhibit features fossilized dinosaur bones, a dinosaur skin impression, geological specimens and tools used by paleontologists. The 10 displays take visitors through the process of how paleontologists discover, excavate and prepare fossils for display.

The museum will showcase the exhibit at Zions Bank locations each month this year, beginning in Taylorsville and later in Delta, St. George, Hurricane, Ephraim, Price, Roosevelt, Heber City, Ogden, Brigham City and Logan.

The Natural History Museum of Utah's curator of paleontology, Randall Irmis, said the exhibit is representative of a 16-year partnership with Zions Bank to reach those who aren't able to visit the museum.

"Utah is a big state," Irmis said. "Not everyone gets a chance to come to Salt Lake City on a regular basis. We want everyone to get a chance to be proud of what's found in the places they live. Zions Bank has been an incredible partner over the years."

The traveling exhibit marks the first time some of the items have been on display, he said.

"Although it's really great to go to museums, it's great when people get the chance to encounter science and nature in unexpected places, such as a bank," Irmis said. "To empower that in places besides a museum is a really special thing."

Steven Verno, Salt Lake Northeast Region president of Zions Bank, said the partnership with the museum is a unique opportunity for the bank to reach out to community members.

"We have a great partnership with the museum," Verno said. "It's bringing the community to our bank to see the displays, and that's what we're here for — to be a community partner."

Taylorsville Elementary fifth-grader Abdel Hararah, 10, suggested that more banks should adopt such a practice.

"Banks are mostly about money and math," Abdel said. "They would be more interesting for kids if they had dinosaur bones."

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com

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