Snakes, Spiders and Science!

Hedingham School students had some interesting new class mates this week when Zoolab visited the school for the day bringing with them an array of interesting animals including snakes, spiders, tree frogs and rats!

Students had the opportunity to meet Colin the Corn snake, who had beautiful orange markings and was very happy to be handled.  George the tree frog was a great hit – Chris from Zoolab who ran the day, got him out of his box and just stuck him on the wall next to the white board!  While he explained to the students about the life of a tree frog, George wandered up and down the wall using his little sticky feet to explore his new environment.  Rosie the Chilean tarantula wasn’t quite as well liked by everyone in the room.  She was the size of Chris’ hand and very hairy and some students (and staff!) found her leg waving antics a bit too much and had to leave the lesson whilst she was out of her box (although Chris did assure everyone that that no one has ever died from a tarantula bite.)  Jake Markham, aged 11 from Sible Hedingham, said his favourite animals were the snake and hedgehog but his least favourite was the spider, ‘When Chris said he was going to bring out a tarantula I shouted and ran out of the room with my hand over my eyes!’

Pickles, the South African Pygmy hedgehog, proved very popular despite the fact that Chris explained she was very smelly to keep at home.  She let children stroke her prickles and everyone agreed she was very cute and really adorable.  Princess Katie, a huge white rat, was very interested in everything that was going on in the classroom and seemed to really enjoy the human contact as she was passed from student to student.  Students also had the opportunity to look at a 15 foot snake skin, a variety of huge beetles and some Giant African Land snails. 

All the students in Year 7 took part in the day, as well as a lot of Year 10 students. The event was designed to stimulate interest in Science and the animal world and also to help students to understand the classification of different groups of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Eleven year old Lara Fisher from Sible Hedingham, commented ‘I loved Colin the snake and it was really interesting to learn about his habitat and what he eats.  The day was great fun and helped me to conquer my fear of snakes and spiders.’