Lance's Journal: Archie the Mammoth, Jan. 12

2011 is bound to be a very special year for the university of Nebraska State Museum. They're celebrating their 140th anniversary.

And to help draw some attention to their historic milestone they've created a dancing mascot.

When most Nebraskans think of the State Museum they think of the enormous bronze mammoth located out in front of Morrill Hall on the UNL campus. That's why the museum staff thought that getting a new fuzzy, woolly mammoth mascot would be a meaningful way to celebrate their 140th anniversary. And of course, get kids excited. They were right.

It's called mammoth mania and the students at Clinton Elementary School in Lincoln are definitely feelin' it! Mark Harris dreamed up "Archie the Mammoth" and he has been impressed with the reaction to his creation, "It's been hilarious. It's been just a riot. We feel we're going to get a lot of exposure for both the schools and Archie and Morrill Hall through these videos.

The school trip videos have been put together by UNL's Communication Department. They've documented Archie's trips to Lincoln elementary schools so the kids can watch themselves on youtube.

The plan is for the Archie mascot to generate enthusiasm and get kids to visit the UNL campus to see the bronze Archie sculptor out in front of Morrill Hall, and come inside to see the original Archie that was discovered on a Lincoln County farm in 1922.

Mark is hoping the new mascot helps to motivate children, "Ultimately, we want to get more people, more families, more children into our doors here at Morrill Hall and hopefully when they come in they'll learn a little big about science and we may be the spark that ignites their interest, who knows they may come out of here with the drive to start a scientific career and we like to think that we spawn a lot of new scientist when they come in our doors. So we want to get kids in our door."

Mark and the State Museum staff is very proud of their new 140th Anniversary website that just debuted last week.

On the website you'll be able to check out Archie's hug-inducing trips to a number of capital city elementary schools.

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