RESET Volunteer Ed Rock in Action

RESET Volunteer Ed Rock at Greenbrier Learning Center:

The ‘Ewwww’ Factor Gets Kids Involved
 
No, they’re not doing the fox trot! ReSET volunteer Ed Rock
demonstrates the size of a whale vertebra.
ReSET volunteer Ed Rock will tell you that owl pellets can
be a bit off-putting to your average 10-year-old. But once they get past the
general “ickiness,” they are rapt with attention. Rock, who works full-time at
the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), has been volunteering with
the Virginia Gardens and Greenbrier after school programs. Last spring, Rock
did an experiment at Greenbrier where the class examined a number of variables
involved in seed (radish) germination and plant growth
(light, water, and nutrients). “The students came up with ideas for
some of the things they wanted to look at,” says Rock. “And I helped them to see
it in the context of an experiment with control groups. The owl pellet activity
was done because some of the students had expressed an interest in animals and
anatomy. We used the owl pellets to discuss food webs, digestive
processes, skeletons, and scale and size (for example, we looked at the size of
vertebra in whales through voles—the typical skeletal remains you see in owl
pellets).”
         Rock
reflects the impressive commitment and creativity of ReSET volunteers. He typically
takes a half day off to do his volunteer work, and he is always looking for new
ideas to try out with the children.
            Rock
says his students quickly get over their initial squeamishness. “We did a
similar exercise in Virginia Gardens using fish (fish printing and dissection).
A few students were standoffish at first, but as the activity wore on they
moved in closer, and by the end of the session they were diving in and actively
participating. Natural student curiosity and the wonders of the natural world
can overcome so much inhibition in a group of students.”
Watch Ed on You Tube

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