Royal Saskatchewan Museum goes virtual for ‘Dinovember’ with interactive apps, tours

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is open to the public Friday through Sunday, with COVID-19 measures in place. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) is inviting families to explore the province’s roaring history of dinosaurs, fossils and palaeontology from the safety of their home.

The RSM is hosting its annual ‘Dinovember’ programming over the next month with virtual and interactive activities for all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re lucky in Saskatchewan that we had dinosaurs here, and so we want to celebrate them,” said Rebecca Hay, the museum’s earth science program specialist.

Read more: Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina ready to welcome back visitors

One of the new virtual activities is a ‘Where’s your Dino?’ photo contest.

Families will need to download the Dinos in 3D app in order to scan a card that brings a tiny, animated dinosaur to life on screen.

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“You actually use your phone or device and you can get a 3D, little dinosaur and you can put it wherever you want,” Hay said.

“We’re asking you to put them into interesting situations. So our categories that we have for our contest are: hungriest, fiercest and best friends.”

The Dinos in 3D app creates an animated 3D dinosaur that smartphone users can place in their surroundings. Derek Putz / Global News

There are three different kinds of 3D dino cards available at the RSM and for download on the museum’s website.

At any time, families can also download the GuidiGO app and take a virtual tour of the CN T. rex gallery, which features Scotty —the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex— that once lived in Saskatchewan.

On Nov. 19, the museum is hosting a live paleo lab tour on its Facebook page at 1:30 p.m.

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People at home will get a look behind the scenes, learn about a 70-million-year-old fossil plesiosaur and ask the paleo team questions.

Read more: Palaeontologist finds showcased at Royal Saskatchewan Museum

“Lots of people think the museum is just displays, but in fact, we do have researchers, including paleontologists, that are studying dinosaurs and fossils right now,” Hay said.

“Going on a tour of that lab is not something that is a normal occurrence, so this is great that this has pushed us beyond our regular boundaries and is allowing something really cool to happen.”

On Nov. 24, paleontologist Dr. W. Scott Persons will take part in a Facebook Live discussion from 4:30-5 p.m. about his new book, Mega-Rex: A Tyrannosaurus Named Scotty.

Read more: New kind of pterodactyl uncovered with help from U of A paleontologist

“This book is about our own dinosaur here in Saskatchewan, Scotty, but it also features some of the scientists that work here at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum,” Hay said.

The RSM is also taking bookings for virtual field trips for Grade 1-3 classes, which include a live video with a museum educator to learn how fossils form, how they are found and how they are studied to learn about Saskatchewan’s past.

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The museum is open Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

All visitors over three years old are required to wear a mask, which are also available for purchase on-site.

Click to play video: 'Great Scott: largest T-rex ever discovered on display in Regina' Great Scott: largest T-rex ever discovered on display in Regina
Great Scott: largest T-rex ever discovered on display in Regina – May 17, 2019

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