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Hands-on science sparks interests
by LOUISE R. SHAW
Mar 21, 2014 | 1638 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STUDENTS IN Lisa Richardson’s class at Antelope Elementary get acquainted with a few select reptiles and amphibians, including one held by Sean Meyer (right). 

Photo by Louise R. Shaw|Davis Clipper
STUDENTS IN Lisa Richardson’s class at Antelope Elementary get acquainted with a few select reptiles and amphibians, including one held by Sean Meyer (right). Photo by Louise R. Shaw|Davis Clipper
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CLEARFIELD – Fourth graders around Utah Р including those in Lisa Richardson’s class at Antelope Elementary – are getting a close-up look at reptiles and amphibions thanks to the Loveland Living Planet Acquarium.

Jekka Jones and Sean Meyer brought a tiger salamander, a banded gecko, a woodhouse toad and a kingsnake to captivated students at Antelope as part of an educational campaign by the acquarium.

Jones has a background in biology and has traveled as far away as St. George and Moab along with 11 others on the team, to teach not only about reptiles and amphibians, but about the water cycle and the environment. They also hope to help build an interest in science, said Jones.

Meyer majored in environmental studies and brings considerable expertise to his presentation on condensation and evaporation, precipitation and collection.

Besides learning the difference between reptiles and amphibians, the kids had a chance to touch a snake, with careful instructions on where and how.

Amphibians start in the water but develop lungs and end up on land, they learned. They have wet, smooth skin and some absorb their water through their skin.

Reptiles have dry scaley skin. Many are nocturnal.  

“The kids are always excited,” said Jones, especially when they get to observe and, in some cases, touch the creatures.

They also get a chance to create their own fog with the help of a 2-liter bottle and a bike pump.

“I like sharing with them that science is cool,” said Jones. “They think of it as hard work, but they can see it’s fun. That’s what I love about it.”

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