Scout earns Gold Award with fossil cart project
This is a great award on its own, but it also won her an extra prize: praise from Houston mayor Annise Parker.
Perez, a Cypress resident, has been a fixture at the museum for several years, where she has volunteered her time and energy to help out in a number of different ways. It did not take her long to realize that it would be the venue where she would eventually earn the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive.
“I started volunteering around the museum at age 12,” Perez said. “Girl Scouts and paleontology have always been my passions, so I knew for the Gold Award that I wanted to combine the two.”
Perez, along with the museum’s paleontology department, set out on the task of creating a Permian-period touch cart for visitors to enjoy. After discussing it with her mentor, associate curator of paleontology David Temple, and getting approval from the museum guild, she began building the display, a project that took almost 130 hours to complete.
Not content to study the fossils strictly from an academic perspective, Perez said one of her favorite parts of the project was participating in the field work, where she tagged along on digs that unearthed fossils dating back before the age of the dinosaurs.
“I always enjoy the excavations,” Perez said. “The museum crew goes to Seymour, Texas, to dig for Permian fossils. I think the digs were one of my favorite things.”
The touch cart was a success, and she received recognition from Parker, who left a lasting impact on Perez. One of the more interesting items in the fossil collection made quite an impression on the mayor, as well.
“It was quite amazing,” Perez said. “She has a triple major, and one of them is in anthropology. She really enjoys relics and ancient things. One of her favorite items was a coprolite, which as you may know, is fossilized poop.”
For Perez, paleontology is not just a fun hobby, however. It is the field in which she ultimately plans to start her career.
“I want to get my doctorate in vertebrate paleontology,” Perez said. “I think looking at baby dinosaurs’ anatomy and how they looked during the time is something I want to study.”
ABOUT Myria Perez
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Built touch cart for HMNS in Sugar Land.
FAST FACT: Perez is part of the Ecoteens group at HMNS
Chris Marshall is a freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.