Students at Edgewood High School in Edgewood, Maryland are diligently measuring footlengths and stride of a 3.6 million year old trackway which appeared mysteriously one day in their hall.

Teacher Christine Roland's adventure:
"... we had a great day in school today! I worked the Laetoli tracks into the evolution section of my biology class and we had a wonderful time."

"I changed it around slightly, and made it into a discovery lab. We measured foot lengths (on my full size track copy!!!*) as well as stride lengths. We also measured all the students' heights, footlengths, and stride lengths. The kids then had to hypothesize about the size of the individuals who walked 3.6 million years ago."

"I added a little exercise, where the students put handprints into sand. They measured the handprints and their hands and compared those numbers. This was to illustrate how the prints are slightly bigger than the actual hands. Several different ideas popped up during the activity, and quite a few discussions erupted over the size of those ancient beings."

*To enlarge the track to full size, "I actually xeroxed it until I got the perfect dimensions and then (very painstakenly!) pieced the track together. Six rolls of clear contact paper later [to protect the tracks], we had our very own Laetoli tracks!" [at no small cost, I would say. ed].

"What was really fascinating to the students was to walk in the footsteps of such ancient beings. I had students from other classes asking permission to walk the tracks."