Llama livens up learning at Kelso
'Teaser' visit provides Science Week highlight
As Kelso Elementarys youngest students file into the gym, Teaser, a 14-year-old therapy llama, is waiting for them.
The children gasp and point with excited looks on their faces. One little voice cries out, But animals cant be in school!
On Tuesday, April 28, every student at the school in Boring got a chance to visit with and ask questions about Teaser. A resident of Hidden Oaks Llama ranch in Estacada, Teaser was brought in by Sherri Tallmon for Kelsos third-annual Science Week.
Were really just trying to tie it back to real life, said Kelso Principal Katie Schweitzer. To show students that (science) is really, really useful and its really, really fun.
Throughout the week, representatives from PGE, Oregon Childrens Theatre, Sandy Police Department, Sandy Fire District, OMSI and the Oregon Humane Society visited students to demonstrate how science is applied in life outside school.
Almost all of them have had opportunities for kids to ask a lot of questions, Schweitzer said, adding that it may be one of the best parts of the week because students can conduct their own scientific investigation and learn things they are curious about. You dont always get a chance to ask why a llamas tail looks like that.
In addition to questions about Teasers hair and appearance, including, Why does one of his feet not match? in reference to the difference in wool coloring on his legs, students asked where Teaser lives, what sound he makes and if people ride him.
Teaser even took his turn with the microphone and demonstrated his humming dialogue for students.
Tallmons answers concerning Teasers height (5-and-a-half feet), weight (300 pounds) and how much he can carry on his back (about 40 pounds) produced exclamations of Wow! from the surrounding kindergarten, first- and second-grade students.
Theyre easily impressed, Schweitzer said with a laugh.
Science Week ended with Thursday nights Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Night.
Students from the Sandy High School robotics club attended the event and brought robots to share with students.
Science projects from Kelso classrooms were on display, and students participated in carnival games with scientific explanations and the schools annual Pinewood Derby, where students race handmade cars around an outdoor track.
While students were broken up into groups for some of the weeks presentations older students talked to Sandy Police while younger students got explanations of how biology is used at the Oregon Humane Society everyone got a chance to visit with Teaser.
You cant bring a llama into a school and not let everybody see him, Schweitzer said.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT