Our class learned about fossils in the Fall. Most of the students were discouraged that our state did not have an official state fossil. We did research as to why we did not have a state fossil, what states do have official state fossils, and what fossil could be our state fossil. We were given advice from Professor Will Clyde from UNH and Professor Gary Johnson from Dartmouth. After careful consideration and a class vote, we had an almost unanimous vote for the mastodon to become our state fossil.
Did we stop there? NO! I typed up a letter that listed the reasons our class felt that there should be a state fossil and emailed it to several local state representatives. We received one response from Senator Bob Odell informing us that legislation usually takes place in the late summer / early fall, and that we should consider contacting him at that time.
After a few months passed the students and I were getting restless, so I decided to email our letter to some of our state’s seacoast representatives as the most recent mastodon fossil was discovered off the coast of Rye, NH. I immediately received two responses from two of our state’s representatives: David Borden and Tom Sherman. They both informed me that they would be willing to cosponsor a bill for an official state fossil! They may be able to draft a bill this fall, and if they are reelected the bill will move forward. If not, someone else would have to “carry the water”. I am also attempting to set up a visit from State Representative David Borden before the school year ends.
We will continue to advocate for an official state fossil as a class, even as our class moves on to the fourth grade. Let’s hope for the best, and WAY TO GO 3rd Grade Lightning for being a voice in our great state of New Hampshire!
P.S. We also emailed other Senators from our state and this is the response we received from Senator Shaheen: