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Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Dakota Mosey offers paleontology student presentation

Abigail Rudy
Mosey giving his presentation. The colors of the past.

Senior Dakota Mosey hosted a paleontology presentation on Nov. 29 after school in room B114. 

“I would like to give a shout out to Mr. Harpster for coming in at the final moment to share his room with Dakota to ensure the proper space for the presentation,” Program Adviser for Upward Bound Programs Kelly Gallery-Price said. 

Mosey used a Google Form towards the beginning of the month asking people what they would be most interested in. The topic people most voted for was the color of the past. 

“My presentation was about finding color using the fossil record. The color of feathers, the color of skin, the color of body armor, things like that, by using evidence that has been left behind. The main focus was of course on feathered dinosaurs, but there were single armored skins dinosaurs talked about,” Mosey said. 

For students to do a student presentation that is open to the school isn’t an easy task. 

“I had to fight tooth and nail with Mr. Neely. Not to say that he wasn’t helpful, but I did have to do a lot of the footwork. I was also given the opportunity by Upward Bound. They’ve sponsored me, sort of helping me make sure that everything was perfect, all my ducks in a row and all my eggs were counted,” Mosey said. 

“Dakota is a member of Upward Bound and reached out to me to help make this presentation a reality. My role in helping this event happen was advising Dakota through the steps of reserving a space for the presentation, advertising the event, ordering pizza, drinks, and supplies for the event and communicating with Mr. Neely to confirm all of the above. Additionally, I met with Dakota to review the content and timing of the presentation,” Gallery-Price said. 

Growing up, Mosey’s favorite show was “Dinosaur Train.” Throughout his childhood, he would watch it every day when his mom turned it on for him. 

“My mom would tell me stories all the time about dinosaur names being some of my first words. The show [“Dinosaur Train”] and dinosaurs stuck with me throughout elementary school. It was just sort of like, knowing that there was stuff that came before us. It was always interesting to me. Once I reached my high school years, it sort of became an understanding more like scientifically and also personally,” Mosey said. “With science, now I see it as sort of like a higher science because you have to use so many different forms of science for it, that it can be argued that it’s a universal science. So that’s why I’m continuing to go into it from my course study.”

For Mosey it started as making a mini presentation about paleontology for his family to learn more about his interest.

“I think it’s an awesome opportunity for Dakota. He is very knowledgeable, and he’s put a lot of work into it. I think it’s great that he gets to talk to some students about it who are interested in his topic. I’m really proud of him for putting all of the work in and I know he will do very well,” Andrew Neely said.

“That’s where this all started. I’ve always wanted to be a professor forever. It’s always been a dream of mine. My family didn’t really know a lot about paleontology. So I figured, I’ll throw together a couple of Google Slides and see how it goes and talk to them about it. And that went really well. Then over the course of the summer, I actually held a presentation at Penn State Allegheny for Upward Bound. And there I discussed the connection between birds and dinosaurs. It just led to another and I had a presentation here,” Mosey said. 

Mosey had an opportunity not many students will get in high school, but he took it and made his presentation happen. 

“Dakota has a strong ability to present and make the topic relevant for his audience. This experience gives him direct experience in this field and allows him to gain experience and confirm that this is a good fit for him. I am quite proud of Dakota’s ambition. I thought he was amazing and quite a natural presenter,” Gallery-Price said. “His passion and knowledge of the topic were obvious. I am hopeful he has opened the door for future student presentations at Altoona High School.”

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About the Contributor
Abigail Rudy, Reporter
Hi. My name is Abigail Rudy. I am a junior. This is my second year writing for Mountain Echo. I enjoy reading and walking my dogs. I have four dogs and two cats. I love nature and being outdoors. I am looking forward to writing more stories this year for people to read.

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