News ItemScience lessons get personal touch

Jul 2, 2005 – 

By Jennifer Arend, The Dallas Morning News

Houston Elementary School got a bit wild last week, as students got to spend some up-close-and-personal time with a fox, a tarantula, a chinchilla and a python.

Allison Blankenship, founder of the traveling wildlife education company Zooniversity, brought Lola the Brazilian tarantula toward the children for them to pet her. But the first few students she encountered shied away.

Then brave Selena Rosas, 9, reached out and touched the hairy spider.

“It feels like fur,” she said, and the other students were quick for a second chance to touch Lola.

Students then learned about Faith, the fennec fox, Foster, a chinchilla, and Megabyte, a python.

Andrew Murphy, 10, guessed correctly that the desert-dwelling fox made its home in underground holes during the day. Moryma Kendrick, 11, knew that because it came out at night, that it was a nocturnal animal. And Victor Bamboa, 10, just loved the feeling of Foster’s soft fur.

The event was one of the culminating activities rewarding the Houston Elementary student’s for their hard work this summer, said Kristi Flores, a teacher at the school and the summer program administrator.

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