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Feb 1, 2014 7:19 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Families take advantage of educational experiences at Gem Show

TUCSON - As the Gem Show takes its first full day lease on the city, families are taking advantage of its educational opportunities.

Roughly 55,000 people will participate including 5-year-old Maddux Gauthier and his family. They decided to take advantage of the GeoDecor fossil exhibit at the Mineral and Fossil Co-Op located near Oracle and Speedway. It's just one of several exhibits across town as part of the Gem Show.

Maddux's favorite part? The dinosaurs.

"The T-Rex," Maddux said. "Because it's a big meat-eater and it lived 100 million years ago."

Maddux's mother, Adena, just knew this would be perfect for him.

"My son is five and we thought well let's go have an opportunity to look around and see if it's a good opportunity for a family event and we are just so impressed," Adena Gauthier told News 4 Tucson.

Sarina Smith is a teacher at a local school and took her 4-year-old son Zach to see the fossils.

"I'm shocked that you can be so close and it's really an intimate location so it's nice, it's really neat," Smith said, adding how important these types of hands-on learning experiences are for children.

"I think it's incredible. I think it's wonderful to be able to have little ones be able to do this," she said.

The full T-Rex display is the first fully-assembled one of its kind to make an appearance in Tucson. It will remain on display for the next two weeks at 1635 N. Oracle Rd.

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