Questions from a Kid: Dr. Scott Sampson


(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of Questions from a Kid. Today, Zoey chats with paleontologist Dr. Scott Sampson.

If you have young kids with even the slightest interest in dinosaurs, chances are very good you’ve heard of Dr. Scott the Paleontologist. If you’ve ever seen an episode of the PBS Kids / Jim Henson show Dinosaur Train, then you’ve seen Dr. Scott. He appears at the end of every episode, talks about the science behind each story, makes connections between the prehistoric world and the more familiar world in which kids live, and ends every episode by encouraging kids to “get outside, get into nature, and make your own discoveries!”

Examining a shark tooth

Examining a shark tooth

Dr. Scott isn’t an actor. He’s actually a real, live paleontologist who also happens to be vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He’s also an outspoken champion of the importance nature in the modern world, of getting kids connected to the outdoors, and what parents can do about it.

He recently published his second book (though his first targeted to a general audience) about how to connect kids with nature: How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature (see my review here).

Zoey has wanted to be a paleontologist for about a year now (see her interview with Dr. Michael Brett-Surman at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History), so she was thrilled at the opportunity to meet and talk dinosaurs with Dr. Scott at the recent USA Science and Engineering Festival here in Washington, DC.

As always, all questions are Zoey’s. She’s the one running the show.

Thanks so much to Dr. Sampson for taking the time to chat with Zoey!


He’s a science rock star!

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.