Dinosaur skeleton model coming to Science Center

Workers installing the skeleton.

life-size model of a T. rex skeleton will now reside in the Science Center atrium at MC. The skeleton, nicknamed “Stan” after the person who found the original fossil in 1987, used to be in the Discovery Communications building in Silver Spring.

Discovery Communications has vacated the Silver Spring building and moved their headquarters to New York City. The company donated the skeleton model to Montgomery College in March.

Assembly and installation of the skeleton at MC is planned for Friday, April 12. Lounge furniture currently in the atrium was recently rearranged to create space for the skeleton.

James Sniezek, the instructional dean for the Chemical and Biological Sciences department, said in an email that he worked to arrange the skeleton’s donation to MC from Discovery Communications.

“I am unaware of any competition that may have occurred in acquiring Stan.  I think Discovery Communications, Inc. made a smart decision!” Sniezek said.

The skeleton is a permanent acquisition, according to Sniezek. “I expect him to be displayed for many years.  Enough for numerous generations of students to marvel at him.  He is museum quality,” he said.

Multiple reproductions of the original fossil of Stan were made and are located in other museums and colleges around the world, including one at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in D.C.

MC is the only community college in the country that has a model of Stan’s skeleton.

Stan’s skeleton is nearly 25 feet tall and 35 feet long, so the Science Center building at the Rockville campus was the only MC building with enough space for it, Sniezek said.

“The SC building is perfect because several faculty have science backgrounds in paleontology, geology, and early earth chemistry.  Everyone is super excited,” he said.

On April 26, a few professors will hold a discussion in the Science Center atrium about dinosaurs.