For five weeks this summer, FLOC Middle School Scholars explored the National Zoo through the lens of a zoologist. The first week, students learned about different career opportunities in the field of zoology like Zookeeper, Wildlife Educator, and Researcher.
Students engaged in a number of interesting and fun activities, including an animal bingo competition in both the Reptile House and Small Mammal House. They also had the chance to observe prairie dogs communicate with each other through high pitched squeaks.
The students were also tasked with choosing one animal to gather information about and make observations. Students chose a variety of animals, from a porcupine to a howler monkey. The following week students wrote creative stories about a new animal. Stories ranged from two red-bellied piranhas looking for food to Discus fish named Lola and Charlie raising their family of little fish.
On their last trip to the zoo, students observed animals at the Kid’s Farm and Amazonia exhibit. Students were asked to choose another animal and draw it in its habitat.
Overall, the students had a fantastic time learning about the animal kingdom in hands-on workshops and an exciting environment.
(Colleen Kerrisk is a Scholars Instructor for the 7th and 10th grade students.)