What a busy day! Elementary students in Winston-Salem sure learn many things. The class I visited has been studying animals, but not animals like me. They've been studying invertebrates. Boy were they excited to see a critter as complex and spine-toting as me!
During the day I checked out some cookie crumbs set out to lure ants. The students were trying to determine what types of ants live on their school grounds as part of NC State University’s School of Ants global ant mapping project. The students found that more ants were attracted to the cookies on a grassy surface than on a paved surface. Although the students found many kinds of ants, they will have to wait for the School of Ants analysis to see what species they caught. Those arthropods sure liked the cookies! Too bad the ants that were attracted to the cookies had to be sacrificed in the freezer before being mailed to NCSU.
We all know that students can't learn without a dedicated teacher. These kids have it made. Lara Overby is their teacher. She is also on the board of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC). It's pretty neat that these students are still in elementary school but are already contributing to an important science project at NCSU. This is a picture of Lara, with her statement about what she likes best about EENC.
After the tiring time outside with the ants, we came back into the classroom to read Bridge to Terabithia, their class novel. Everyone wanted me to read with them.
You’d think they didn’t know that the Eastern box turtle was their state reptile. In fact, two of the students introduced me to a picture of my cousin Charlotte, another Eastern box turtle, in a field guide book.
The end of the day was the most exciting part. We had recess! I got to play zombie tag and go down the slide. We also played a new game called Turtle, Turtle, Tryon that was similar to Duck, Duck, Goose. I felt very honored that the students created a special game just for me.
Then I met the principal who was covering for the crossing guard. He tried to look mean and scare me, but the students assured me that he was very helpful and kind. I thoroughly enjoyed being the Brunson Box Turtle.
I better get moving. I can't believe that the conference is starting next week. It hardly seems like any time has passed since I started my adventure in Raleigh at Artsplosure.