It’s not every day we have a group of 8-year-olds pitching our experts on what animals they think our zoo should have. That’s exactly what Lesa Haney’s second-grade Polser Elementary class did, with enthusiasm, confidence, and a whole lot of research.
The class of 21 second-graders researched five animals they think should be in our collection: pandas, dog-faced bats, hummingbirds, a komodo dragon, and gorillas (although we already have gorillas, we still listened).
Our senior director of living collections, Harrison Edell, and our director of education, Marti Copeland, Skyped with the class as they presented their projects and asked questions.
We were amazed at the effort the children put into their pitches. They spent three weeks working on their presentations, which included a fully designed panda and gorilla habitat made out of clay and a dog-faced bat puppet show. And our experts agreed we’d love to have any of the animals the students suggested here at the Zoo.
And because they’re modern students, they even tweeted their project on Twitter, bringing engagement from The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. To learn more about the project and to watch their YouTube video presentations, click here.