Student Symposium

Amazing STEM Opportunity

This is an opportunity for students to get face-to-face with world famous visiting paleontologists. From an amazing ice age wolf puppy discovery, to the mighty T. rex, scientists will share their work with youth in an exciting new forum: The Student Symposium at PaleoFest 2021. Speakers will share their research, photos of their adventures, and engage students in real scientific discussion. Speakers are part of the PaleoFest 2021 programming, and are virtually visiting Rockford from around the world this weekend only! Don’t miss this unique chance to bring science to life in your classroom!

PaleoFest Student Symposium Goes VIRTUAL

Connect with scientists from around the world through your classroom or remote learning. A simple, no software needed login, will have students connected to world wide teams of scientists! From Argentina to Australia...from California to Iowa, paleontologists are sharing their adventures, lessons learned, and research. Talks from scientists are pre-recorded but scientists are chatting to answer questions.

Paleontologist Josh & Executive Director Anne from Burpee Museum will MC the event and create polls, interactive questions, and more to keep everyone engaged!

Best Part...its FREE!

Thanks to generous contributions from donors in our community, this event is coming to school children from grades K to high school FREE OF CHARGE. Do not miss your chance to expand your curriculum and bring STEM alive with real professionals.

Discover Card
Museum Exploration

Virtual Reality 360 Tech

All participants will also get a link to explore the museum virtually as in individual from their own device, or as a class with the teacher leading.

Josh Mathews
MC: Josh Mathews

Burpee Paleontologist

From the Jurassic to the Cretaceous...and from Antartica to Utah, Josh brings great paleo experience and is excited to share our speaker lineup with you!

Anne Weerda
MC: Anne Weerda

Burpee Executive Director

Leading science education for over 20 years, Anne is excited to connect students with research, and amazing speakers from around the world!

New Exhibits

Explore something special

In addition to the amazing exhibits at Burpee, we are excited to announce several new exhibits that participants can virtually explore on March 5

Symposium FAQ

How do we register?

Click the "Student Sign-Up!" button to get your class registered!  If your students are remote learning on individual devices you will want to register the total number of devices.  If your students are in classroom learning and you will lead with one projected device, then sign up only one.

What is the cost?

Thanks to our generous donors, it is FREE to you.  We can offer 1,000 free seats for this event.  After 1,000 registrations, the cost will be $5 per participant.  If your class has to change plans, please cancel your registration to make room for others!


What grade levels is this for?

Programming is targeting students of all grades.  We will try to group similar age students together to keep conversations and questions relevant.  Please select grade level bands when registering so we can better serve your students.  High school students encouraged.


My school isn't participating....can I still attend?

Sure! Homeschool, enrichment, and individuals of K-12 ages are encouraged to attend and sign up.  Click the link and register for only one device.  We will share links with you!

We can't make Friday March 5th work...what can I do?

We are pleased to share some of the talks and information on-demand after the event.  Sign up for this option, and we will email you links to watch the week of March 8th.  While you will not get the same interactivity, it is still a great way to watch real science happening around the world!


I still need more help.  Who can I ask?

You can call Burpee at 815-965-3433, or you can email for questions or registration assistance.



Sneak Peak of PaleoFest Speakers:
  • Julie Meachen Des Moines University, USA. Vertebrate Paleontologist -- mammalian carnivores:
  • Steve Salisbury Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia. Vertebrate Paleontologist who studies Dinosaurs and Crocodylians from Gondwana
  • Caitlin Colleary Cleveland Museum of Natural History, USA. Molecular Taphonomy
  • Thomas Holtz University of Maryland, USA. Vertebrate Paleontologist who studies Theropod Dinosaurs
  • Diego Pol Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio, Argentina. Vertebrate Paleontologist studying the evolution of Dinosaur and Crocodylians of Patagonia.
  • Lauren Sallan University of Pennsylvania, USA.  Paleobiologist who studies macroevolutionary processes in early vertebrates and marine ecosystems.
  • Heidi Allen Geological Survey of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Paleontologist studying Microbialites of Western Australia and how they shaped life on Earth.
  • Eric Scott Cogstone Resource Management, California USA.  Vertebrate Paleontologist studying Ice Age Mammals