VVS middle-schoolers get hands-on biology lesson with Utica ZooMobile


VERONA —The Utica ZooMobile, an interactive program in which a Utica Zoo educator brings various live animals and related biofacts to schools, visited Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Middle School last week.

Science teacher Nora Burnop arranged the experience for seventh-grade students, who are currently studying adaptations, the VVS school district said. The topic can involve the process through which a species becomes fitted to its environment.

“Students have a difficult time understanding adaptations,” said Burnop, “so this was a way to bring in real organisms so that they can see first-hand what adaptations look like, and can gain a better understanding of the subject.”

Utica Zoo educator Ben Ouderkirk brought a ferret, hedgehog, snake, and snapping turtle (the official reptile of New York state) as part of the ZooMobile’s “Awesome Adaptations” presentation, said the VVS district.

Logan Darling, a student on the 7/8 Red Team, enjoyed the presentation plus getting to ask questions.

“I like how you are able to touch the snake,” he said, “and it’s really cool because the snake was wrapping around him. He knows so much about snakes and we can ask him questions to learn more about them.”


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