Craig residents sample CNCC classes at Taste of Education |

Craig residents sample CNCC classes at Taste of Education

Student Casey Carlone, center, carefully dusts off prehistoric remains with the help of Ellis Thompson-Ellis, left, and Josh Ellis in the Colorado Northwestern Community College paleontology work space Saturday during Taste of Education. The free event featured multiple courses for community members to get a look at college life.
Andy Bockelman

School on a Saturday can be a tough sell, but those hungry for knowledge had their appetites sated this weekend at Colorado Northwestern Community College’sColorado Northwestern Community College’s Taste of Education. Taste of Education.

Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Taste of Education.

Providing a peek at 15 courses, the event welcomed several dozen community members who were interested in learning more about CNCC’s curriculum, including subjects such as QuickBooks training, art, writing and the United States Constitution.

Brian MacKenzie, the college’s director of marketing, said a common theme was apparent in some of the more popular classes — animals.

Classes such as puppy training, family dog training and “My Dog Is a Super Sleuth” were big hits.

“Those are definitely our hottest ones today,” he said, adding that the “Super Sleuth” class is one that has educated FBI personnel in training canines to sniff out drugs or missing persons.

Taste of Education serves as CNCC’s method of bringing in potential students of all ages, whether casual or full-time.

Attendee Rebecca Mack said a class called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” has her intrigued about attending more courses at the college.

“I think I might take an art class here, get a degree,” she said.

Another favorite of Mack and many others was “Paleo Tour,” a look at the developments of CNCC’s work with prehistoric remains, including dinosaur bones recently found near Rangely.

“What caught my attention was all the bones and what they shared with us,” Mack said.

As part of “Paleo Tour,” couple Ellis Thompson-Ellis and Josh Ellis were on hand to show their progress with a duckbilled dinosaur named Walter, named after their Great Dane. Thompson-Ellis said the college’s repository is an excellent opportunity to showcase the wonders of the past.

“This is the behind-the-scenes stuff you don’t see at museums, how all the bones came together,” she said. “It shows the jumble we have to work with before they turn into the beautiful displays people are used to seeing.”

Liz Johnson, CNCC science instructor said she was inspired by the number of children present.

“Kids are the ones who still believe anything is possible,” she said. “Paleontology is what I call a ‘gateway science,’ you have to know anatomy, geology, chemistry, all these different subjects, so if you want to get kids interested in science, engineering, math, this is where to do it.”

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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