“Bison from Diamond Valley Lake” Teaching Kit

Bison kit copy


$20 + shipping

To order kits, call 951-791-0033. Online ordering coming soon!

The “Bison from Diamond Valley Lake” teaching kit includes resin casts of four  teeth, and 19 cards with photographs and enamel diagrams of from from fossil bison. The original specimens are from Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County, California and are housed at the Western Science Center.

The kit is designed to be used for grades 4-13. Students use diagrams in the handouts to identify the cast teeth, then measure the height of each tooth to estimate the bison’s age. They then examine wear patterns on each tooth to get a second estimate of age. After establishing that wear patterns can be used to estimate age, students use the included photographs to build an age profile of the bison from Diamond Valley Lake, to see if there are any biases toward any particular age group. This exercise takes approximately 40-60 minutes to complete.

High school and college students continue from this point to examine the statistical significance of their results from the first part of the exercise, by running chi-square tests on the data. By configuring the data in different ways and adding additional hypothetical specimens the students explore the importance of sample size in population-level studies.

Detailed student and teacher lessons and diagrams to accompany the kits can be downloaded at the links below. The handouts and teacher’s guides can be freely used with attribution for non-commercial purposes only.

Middle school version (pdf)

Middle school version (MS Word)

High school/undergraduate version (pdf)

High school/undergraduate version (MS Word)








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