Football superstar Ty Detmer will team up with another Ty - Tyrannosaurus rex - to kick off the newly formed Kids Club at Brigham Young University's Earth Science Museum Thursday night.
Janita Andersen, director of program development at the museum, created the Kids Club to call attention to what the Earth Science museum has to offer."Kids love dinosaurs," Andersen said. "The museum is a learning tool. We hope, with the enthusiasm they (kids) have for dinosaurs, they will take an interest in the sciences that relate to it."
The museum will host the first Kids Club activity from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at BYU's Alumni House, located north of the Tanner Building on campus. Detmer will sign autographs and there will be drawings for a BYU football, football jersey and tickets to the Utah State University game Nov. 24. Children may also sign up for a dinosaur drawing contest.
The activity is open to members and prospective members of the Kids Club; children can register for the club at the museum, located across from Cougar Stadium at 1683 N. Canyon Road. Membership in the club is limited to 500 children. Registration is $15 for one child, $10 for the second child in a family and $5 for each additional child.
Those who join the club receive a Kids Club packet, filled with dinosaur activity worksheets, a dinosaur pencil and stickers, the Kids Club newsletter, a discount on all items at the Earth Science Museum gift shop, a membership card, invitations to field trips and special tours of the museum and laboratories. Andersen also hopes to hold quarterly storytelling sessions at the museum for club members.
Also, a Kids Club T-shirt designed by award-winning graphic artist McRay Magleby is on sale at the museum. Proceeds from the Kids Club will be used to support the museum.
BYU has one of the largest collections of dinosaur bones from the Jurassic Period, which dates from 145 million to 210 million years ago. The collection is considered among the top five in the world.
On display at the Earth Science Museum are fossils and casts of Ultrasaurus and Supersaurus, two of the largest reported dinosaurs in the world. Also, there are displays of Tyrannosaurus rex, mascot of the Kids Club, Triceratops and Deinosuchus, a monstrous 50-foot crocodile, and the oldest dinosaur egg found in the northern hemisphere.
"We have got some really wonderful exhibits that most people don't even know are here," Andersen said.
The museum is struggling to find private funding to help build an adequate museum building to properly display and study its dinosaur collection.
"Thousands of dinosaur bones are stored underneath the Cougar Stadium bleachers awaiting the day when we will have adequate resources for study or display," said Wade Miller, museum director.