On Wednesday, October 31, the Citizen Schools students at MLK Jr. Middle School in Charlotte, NC, experienced their first on-campus exploration of the school year with a special visit by Snakes Alive. Snakes Alive is an educational science program designed to give clear, concise insight into the lives, habits, and characteristics of reptiles, especially snakes. This unique program is led by Ron Cromer, a specialist in herpetology and full-time lecturer since 1982.
During the visit, Mr. Cromer taught students about local snakes, including their diet and the features of snakes (like shape and color) which indicate poisonous or non-poisonous. He then demonstrated handling techniques for live animals such as snakes, turtles and lizards. Students were highly engaged and few brave ones even held the snakes and other reptiles using the safety tips taught by Mr. Cromer. Here is what some of those students had to say about their experience:
"Snakes Alive was the greatest part of Citizen Schools. We got to hold snakes and touch them. We even got to see a lizard, and it went out of control." - Mustaf
"I thought the snakes were very interesting and they like to move a lot! I thought the presentation was educational too. I was able to hold the snakes and see how they felt in my hand. I had a lot of fun." - Markayla
"I was able to hold a python, and it went around my neck. But I learned what makes snakes poisonous or not, and how to hold them properly." - Tyresse
Our staff enjoyed the visit as well and appreciated the opportunity to bring learning to life for the students. Deputy Campus Director, Ben Masten, had this to say about the on-campus exploration:
"Snakes Alive was a true hands-on learning experience for the students at MLK. Whether scared or excited, our students were engaged throughout the presentation."
Citizen Schools students love to see how their current learning could apply to their future careers, and sharing your and your colleagues’ work with them by hosting an exploration is a great way to make that connection happen. The options are endless, and our students want to learn what you do!
If you are interested in hosting an exploration, please contact Cassie McIntyre, Director of External Engagement - firstname.lastname@example.org.