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Snake Presentations

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Posted by: mfoux at Thu Apr 30 15:35:20 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by mfoux ]  
   

I've read two of the recent posts below regarding snake presentations in schools, churches, etc. I have some thoughts to add and also would like some advice from those who have experience doing these presentations.

This was my second year doing a snake and tortoise presentation at the school where my wife teaches. Last year I did two 30 minute presentations; this year I did four. They even interviewed me for their in-school news program. Kids and teachers kept coming up to me in the halls to comment and ask questions; it was really fun.

One of the teachers, who happens to be deathly afraid of snakes (but held one anyway for the news video) approached me and asked if I would like to put together a proposal for me to travel around the district doing presentations. They said my show got more response than the field trips to the animal rescues and the animals they've brought in before.

So far, my presentations have been to second grade classes, but we're talking about a genetics-focused show for high-school biology classes. It would feature live animals from my collection that are homozygous and/or heterozygous for one or more simple recessive genetic traits. I'll be able to show how two normal parents, for example, can produce albino offspring. Also how two or more simple recessive traits can combine to change an animals appearance.

Right now I'm in the brainstorming phase. I'm trying to come up with ideas for presentations that would appeal to a range of ages.

Some thoughts are (in no particular order):

General information about reptiles (part of my current presentation)
Genetics
Safety/identification
Reptiles as pets
Conservation
Life Cycle and Food chain (part of my current presentation)
Venom
Snakes' Role in Ecology
Types of Snakes
Constrictors (Types and the mechanics of constriction, also mentioning the controversy surrounding large constrictors)

Some topics I'd like advice/feedback on:

Activities: Do any of you incorporate activities into your presentations to encourage participation? What types of activities?

Behavior: Second graders are a handful! Any tips or ideas to help keep them quiet and attentive?

Teaching Resources: Anyone know any good herp-related teaching resources geared toward different age levels that I could utilize?

What about insurance? How many of you carry insurance and where does one even start looking for that type of coverage? I generally only let the kids touch one or two of my snakes and my Sulcata, and I make sure they wash their hands with Germ-ex before AND after. I take the utmost care possible to avoid any accidents; the two snakes I allow kids to touch have NEVER bitten any human. But what if a kid comes down with salmonella or does manage to get bitten and the parents decide to sue me?

The animals I currently incorporate into my presentations are:

Honduran and Pueblan milk snakes
California, Thayeri and Grey-banded king snakes
Ball and Carpet pythons
Sulcata


I enjoy doing these presentations and I feel like this is my part to play as a responsible reptile enthusiast; that education and the positive influence of public opinion regarding reptiles, especially snakes, is a noble cause. I'm interested in hearing your feedback.

Thanks,
-----
---
http://www.mikefoux.com
http://www.cafepress.com/shedz

1.1.0 Hondurans Het Amel
1.1.0 Hondurans Anery, Het Hypo
0.1.0 Honduran Hypo
0.1.0 Honduran Hypo, Het Anery
0.2.0 Pueblans
1.0.0 Pueblan Hypo
1.0.0 Thayeri MSP
0.0.1 GBK Blair's Phase
1.0.0 California King
0.1.0 California King Blue-eyed Blond
0.0.1 Speckled King WC
0.0.1 Jungle Carpet
0.1.0 Ball, Normal
1.0.0 San Diego Gopher, Poss. Het Applegate
0.0.1 Sulcata
0.1.0 Wife, Caucasius Mexicana


   

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