Animals and Science in the Classroom Gain tips on animal husbandry, animal related activities, games, events and careers! Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 Thinking of getting a classroom pet? Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:37:00 +0000 Animals in the classroom can bring a sense of excitement and wonder to the learning environment. Although, this is often a common reason for incorporating pets into the classroom research shows that having a pet in the classroom can provide other benefits in addition to making learning fun. When pets are properly loved and cared for in the classroom they not only enhance science or nature lessons while encouraging responsibility and compassion but research shows that there are many more reasons to include pets in the classroom.

Interacting with pets has been shown to release endorphins into the brain and the Pet Health Council notes that dogs and other animals have been found to help children with autism, as some that are electively mute start to talk to the dog. In a study by the American Humane Association, Phase One findings show that animals provide a relaxing environment when children are stressed or exhibit unstable behavior. This is especially true for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Mary Renck Jalongo, PhD, education professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and author of The World of Children and Their Companion Animals found that children are more relaxed and more inclined to feel comfortable reading to a pet than their peers or a teacher. So, if you are hesitant about bringing animals into the classroom know that there are a plethora of reasons why you should!

The E4 Process: Project Based Learning in The Classroom Fri, 27 Oct 2017 16:02:00 +0000 ]]> Animal Related Career Summer Intensive Wed, 12 Oct 2016 16:22:00 +0000 here and if you know a student that is interested in an animal related career contact us today!]]> Summer Break! Tue, 05 Jul 2016 12:42:00 +0000 here for more information.
Alternatives to dissection Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:39:00 +0000
Virtual dissection videos
: These can be found numerous places including YouTube.  By doing a simple search you will find a plethora of videos but I would caution to ensure the source reputable.  Also, make sure that the person doing the dissection is wearing proper PPE or personal protective equipment especially gloves.  Digital Frog 2.5 is another video source if YouTube doesn't cut it for you and students can also do a virtual knee replacement surgery on  Also, many universities have made virtual dissection videos such as the virtual pig dissection video by Whitman College

Apps:  Yes, there's an app for that!  Some can be purchased for as little as one dollar and they take students through an actual virtual dissection.  In most cases the students are able to use their finger as a scalpel and by swiping make their incisions.  Some popular ones are: Easy dissection ($0.99)and Froguts ($3.99) which are compatible with most apple devices. 

Models: The use of inanimate objects can be helpful in learning about body parts, although models can get to be rather costly they can be great alternatives to dissection.  Many models have removable organs which enables students to be extremely interactive.  The one pictured is from Carolina and cost $150.

7 things you should know about canine influenza Thu, 09 Apr 2015 19:17:00 +0000 In Chicago, over 1,000 dogs have been recently infected with the canine influenza virus and five had died within a short amount of time.  Multiple pet stores have closed as a result of the widely spreading infection and pet parents are understandably on high alert.  With the recent outbreak of the contagious virus it is imperative that pet owners remain educated about the facts associated with the disease so here are seven things you should know about canine influenza!

  • There is no evidence that it is zoonotic meaning it cannot be transmitted from animal to humans and vice versa.  With that said it is a virus and can survive outside of its host for some time therefore humans should be vigilant about washing hands before petting or playing with their dogs if they have come into contact with other pets.

  • The vaccine can take up to a month to take effect, per the Cook County Animal Care and Control.  Once your dog has been vaccinated you may still want to keep them away from any other dogs until the vaccine has had a chance to take full effect.  First time vaccinations will require a booster within two to three weeks then annually.

  • Although it cannot make humans sick, the virus was actually thought to have mutated and jumped species from horses to dogs, with the first canine case noted in 2004.

  • Transmission is airborne and can also be acquired through a dog coming into contact with bowls, bedding or other objects that may have been contaminated with the virus.  Therefore refraining from kennels, unnecessary boarding and doggy day cares may be a wise decision until vaccinations have been given and had time to take effect.

  • Although the flu in humans causes vomiting and in some cases diarrhea, the canine flu mainly affects the respiratory system and the symptoms are usually coughing, lethargy, nasal discharge, fever and in severe cases it can progress to pneumonia.

  • Since it is a virus, there is no magic pill for treatment.  Treatment consists mainly of supportive care but antibiotics may be given for any secondary infections.

  • Canine influenza is not the same as kennel cough, but there are test that can detect both.  If your dog begins to cough and shows other symptoms of canine influenza getting them to the vet quickly is critical, but as always prevention is best!
NSTA conference 2015 Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:23:00 +0000 Earlier this month members of the STEM team were able to attend the National Science Teachers Association annual conference here in Chicago.  The conference is always loaded with educational programming to help you prepare and extend your lessons.  The focus is of course science but heavily incorporates engineering as the Next Generation Science Standards have encouraged teachers to integrate the subject into the classrooms.  There were demonstrations, activities.  The next annual conference will be held in Tennessee.