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BioPark's Living Classrooms Engage Middle Schoolers in Science

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The New Mexico PBS Science Crawl explores educational museums.

BioPark's Living Classrooms Engage Middle Schoolers in Science

Science Crawl students at the Zoo in 2012. Photo courtesy of New Mexico PBS.

April 11, 2012

Sixth graders from Truman Middle School will enjoy a day of science activities and fun at the ABQ BioPark Zoo on Monday, April 15 during the New Mexico PBS Science Crawl. Nearly 400 students will explore the zoo to learn about adaptations, habitats and environmental stewardship. In partnership with New Mexico PBS and Albuquerque Public Schools, the ABQ BioPark Zoo and Aquarium/Botanic Garden have been Science Crawl locations for seven years.

"Last week, we had students from Hayes Middle School visit the Botanic Garden to study abiotic and biotic systems on our solar powered planet," said Tallie Segel, Botanic Garden Education Coordinator. "They looked at soil, plants and arthropods and demonstrated important relationships in nature through experiments. It's a lot of fun and a lot of science packed into half a day!"

At the zoo on Monday, students will learn about animal adaptations. They will be able to touch and analyze skulls, teeth, hides and other biofacts to connect what they have learned in workbooks to living organisms. Students will also take part in an Our Actions Matter lab to reflect on human habitats and how each person can help protect the environment.

"The Science Crawl gives students an opportunity to learn in new, rich, interactive settings," said Kathryn Venzor, ABQ BioPark Education Curator. "The BioPark has invaluable resources that help bring learning to life. Kids get excited, and you can see concepts about biology and environmental stewardship really start to click."

The New Mexico PBS Science Crawl promotes interest and enthusiasm in science, technology and math careers through hands-on learning. Educational activities aligned with state science standards take place at the ABQ BioPark, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, National Museum of Nuclear Science & History and Explora!. Science Crawl is funded by Intel, UNM Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Sandia National Labs and Lockheed Martin.

The ABQ BioPark is a living classroom that is available to all teachers and students. Find educational resources and information about planning your next field experience at the Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden. For more information, email [email protected] or dial 311 locally (505-768-2000).

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