CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) – The Dragon Research Collaborative (DRC) at Roanoke College has received a $20,000 grant from the Virginia Humanities to assist in the creation of the new ‘Fossil Tales’ exhibit at Wonder Universe in Christiansburg.

On Oct. 28, the child-focused exhibit will be opening to the public. It will focus on connecting the natural history of Appalachia to the stories of other areas and cultures. One of the DRC’s aims is to use a scientific approach with dragons as a research focus across diverse studies of plant biology, literature, computer science, business, environmental science and more.

The exhibit will permanently house an exploration of the DRC’s plant fossil-folklore hypothesis of a link between Lepidodendron plants and the lore of dragons. This display will feature pieces of work collected and donated since the program’s beginnings back in 2013.

From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the exhibit’s opening day, a Renaissance festival-themed opening event will welcome the new exhibit to Wonder Universe. It will feature special guests, Vikings of the Valley, who will share the history, culture and heritage of Vikings. Costumes are encouraged.

A portion of the grant will be used to purchase books to give all the children at the opening, allowing them to bring the stories home. Children’s authors Anna Denisch, Lydia Weltmann abd Rebecca Conter will also be in attendance to do readings and sign books.

Wonder Universe is located at New River Valley Mall at 782 New River Road in Christiansburg. For more information, visit its Facebook page here.