During the week of December 9, Mr. Justin Smith and his colleague, Marley, spoke to several groups of science students at West Middle School. Justin and Marley are interpreters from the Metroparks Outreach Program. Their mission was to explain to students the differences and similarities between reptiles and amphibians.
Several interesting facts were given during the presentation. For example, amphibians have permeable skin. Both reptiles and amphibians have backbones and lay eggs. Amphibians and reptiles are also cold blooded, meaning that their warmth depends upon environmental factors.
Students were surprised to learn that both reptiles and amphibians could survive weeks and even months between feedings. Reptiles have scales, claws or teeth and leathery eggs, but amphibians have smooth, moist skin, no claws or teeth and lay jelly like eggs.
The interpreters brought with them a frog, a blue spotted salamander, and a rat snake for the students to see and in some cases touch.
A big thanks to Justin and Marley for visiting with our students and encouraging them to explore nature for their own physical, mental and emotional well being. West Middle School hopes that the cooler weather does not prevent our students from enjoying the benefits of nature.
Our school strongly suggests wearing appropriate winter outerwear and enjoying the nature found in our own backyards and neighborhoods. For more information, please visit Oakwoods Metropark, a great outing for the entire family.