2023 Projects

The Teen Science Scholars program invites 20 teens from around Colorado to complete hands-on summer internships with Science Division staff at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The aim for this program is to provide an opportunity for students from underserved audiences to have an opportunity to work alongside our scientists in order to gain experience and opportunity they might not be exposed to otherwise. While in the program, teen scholars strengthen their investigative and communication skills, develop a peer network of students from across the state of Colorado, and share their work and experiences during a Showcase event at the end of the summer.

Scroll down to see an overview of the projects completed in 2023. To learn more about the program and how to apply, click here.

Teen Science Scholars is made possible with support from the Harvey Family Foundation, Daniels Fund, the Gateway Fund II of The Denver Foundation, the Paul and Harriet Rosen Teen Science Scholars Endowment, Dr. Paul & Mrs. Harriet Rosen, Marx-Stark Family Foundation, Robert Walker & Cristy Godwin, Phillip & Susan Greenberg, John G. Duncan Charitable Trust, Robert Zupkus & Janet Burda, Jon & Roxanne Isenhart, and Lael Moe & Cathy Fennelly, among other donors, and Dr. Richard Stucky, who was instrumental in founding the program.

2023 Recap




2023 Fossil Prep

The team worked on various dinosaur fossils, learning how to prep, clean, cradle, and conduct 3D scans. Scholars also visited Corral Bluffs and collected fossil and soil samples.

2023 Anthropology

The Anthropology Teen Science Scholars floated soil samples from a 10,000-year-old bison kill site, learning more about Paleoindian life on the Plains. They also conducted the first ground penetrating radar work in City Park to determine where future research might occur and several subsurface structures were discovered.

2023 Space Sciences

The Space Science Teen Science Scholars created visualization modules for binary star planetary systems for the planetarium, and then hosted their own planetarium show about these systems. In order to do this, they learned about: the physics of binary star orbits; perusing astrophysical databases and scientific papers to plumb orbital information; the mathematics to place and orient these systems correctly; and Python programming and data science principles to calculate position vectors and rotation matrices. Finally, they constructed their own story about these alien solar systems, which took audiences in the Gates Planetarium on a journey into the distant cosmos using the OpenSpace software.

2023 Zoology/Genetics

The DMNS Zoology Teen Science Scholars received a well-rounded, hands-on experience in Museum-based research in our mammalogy collection. Scholars were trained in skeletal preparation, techniques for measuring specimens, and methods for collecting tissue samples. The students then processed tissue samples in the Genetics Lab to learn how molecular data is used to identify hard to distinguish species (e.g., shrews and voles). Finally, the students worked in the collection preservation spaces learning the various collection management techniques the Museum uses to ensure the long-term care of its specimens.

Teen Science Scholars Success Stories

From Teen Science Scholar to paleontology graduate school - hear 2017 Teen Science Scholar Isiah Newbins' story on how the TSS program impacted his life and scientific career.

2023 Mentors

Erin Baxter, PhD

Research Scientist

Natalie Toth, MS

Chief Preparator

Salvador Bastien

Fossil Preparator

Sadie Sherman

Fossil Preparator

Andrea (Andie) Carrillo

Zoology Preparator

Andrew Doll, MS

Zoology Collections Manager

Tiffany Nuessle, MA

Research Manager in the Genetics Lab

Ka Chun Yu, PhD

Assistant Curator of Space Science


Learn more about applying here: https://www.dmns.org/about/teen-science-scholars/.

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