Thirty “Dinosaur Train” fans, along with one guardian per child, will be randomly chosen to embark on a three-hour, 70-mile roundtrip, train ride hosted by the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) and the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad on Saturday, May 21.
In recognition of National Train Day (May 7), “Dinosaur Train” is celebrating America’s love of trains with special programming and activities throughout the month of May. AETN is one of several public television stations in the nations participating in the festivities by hosting this special contest with the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.
Open to ages 3 to 8, contest winners will be treated to a train ride featuring “Dinosaur Train” and dinosaur facts, stories about the railroad’s history and information about Arkansas’s geology and folklore, all while traveling through the scenic Boston Mountain Range of the Ozarks from Van Buren to Winslow and back.
Parents are invited to enter their children in the contest by visiting www.aetn.org/kids. Deadline for entry is Friday, May 6. Entries should include child’s name, age, what the child likes about “Dinosaur Train” and why the child wants to go on the train ride. AETN and AETN Foundation employees, commissioners, board members and family members are ineligible.
Winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email on May 9. Everyone who enters, regardless of being chosen for the grand prize, will receive a “Dinosaur Train” prize pack.
The train departs from the Van Buren train depot at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, and returns at 2 p.m. A public reception will be held at 10 a.m. A box lunch will be provided. All winning contestants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Van Buren on the day of the train ride.
“Dinosaur Train,” the award-winning and critically acclaimed animated preschool series from The Jim Henson Company, will debut an all new episode May 6 at 8:30 a.m., repeating at 1 p.m., on AETN. The new episode includes two 11-minute animated segments with live-action sequences featuring a paleontologist who brings to life the show’s natural science and natural history curriculum for preschoolers. In “Junior Conductor Jamboree,” Buddy and his family ride the Dinosaur Train from one end of the line to the other and visit all three time periods – from the Cretaceous, through the Jurassic, to the Triassic. In “Troodon Train Day,” the Pteranodon family rides to Troodon Town to celebrate Troodon Train Day, where the main event is a concert by King Cryolophosaurus, giving his first performance in years.
In “Dinosaur Train,” young viewers join Buddy the T. Rex and his adoptive family of Pteranodons on whimsical adventures through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans as they unearth basic concepts in natural science, natural history and paleontology. The Dinosaur Train is a colorful locomotive, customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs, and it has the ability to visit the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous worlds, while the Train’s Conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with fascinating facts along the way.
In addition to the television series, there is also a “Dinosaur Train” interactive website at PBSKIDS.org/dinosaurtrain. Children can join Buddy, Tiny and all their friends as they discover natural history and the science of paleontology through fun games and activities. During the month of May, the website will celebrate trains with a special themed homepage and new printable activities.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit www.aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at www.aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).