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Impressive fossil collection donated to ECISD by one individual

Jason Osborne is leaving the district after just over six-and-a-half years, and he is gifting quite the history collection for teachers and students to work with.

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — Ector County ISD received a donation in the form of over 300 pounds of fossils Thursday from one individual.

The fossils were given as a gift by Jason Osborne, the chief innovation officer for ECISD’s Innovation Department, who will be leaving the district after just over six-and-a-half years.

He is leaving behind quite the history collection for teachers and students to work with.

Osborne began collecting fossils when he was just a kid, and the curiosity for life millions of years ago is still present within him.

As he donates an impressive collection of fossils to the benefit of the district, he hopes it will spark the curiosity in others.

“When I was a kid, and even now, I love picking things up and just questioning, you know, ‘what happened to this animal that had died 15 million years ago?’ ‘What was life like and what kind of stories does it tell?’ That’s what I hope kids, and even teachers, get out of this," said Osborne.

The physical presence of these fossils in the classroom will help take both science and art to another level of reality, excitement and understanding.

“That touch and the availability, it really means a lot to the students, because I do third, fourth and fifth grade, so even the littler kids, sometimes it’s hard to believe and I’m like ‘yeah no this is real!’ and they’re like ‘yeah, ok,’ and then when you pull that out and they actually have something tangible to go with it, it’s much more educating, much more encompassing… the whole thing," said Sarah Hawkins, a science lab teacher at Travis Elementary School.

“It adds more excitement to the kids," said Baldo Valeriano, an art teacher at New Tech Odessa. "Instead of them drawing an apple or drawing a vase, they get to draw like a real fossil that they get to touch and have in front of them. Learn about the process, like the very specific conditions that the fossil needs to have to be made, or you attach it to the story, like how the shark bite on the bone of the whale and stuff like that."

One can only imagine the impact the entire collection will have on ECISD.

Osborne said his time with the district was a great opportunity and very rewarding, as he brought his knowledge and inspired the youth.

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