Students embarked on this lab-based activity to help understand the species of Costa Rica. Graduate Student Teaching Fellow Alexis Harrison created this activity for her OEB 167 class to allow students to see and interact with preserved specimens from the Museum of Comparative Zoology, so they can further understand the types of animals they will see on their spring break trip to Costa Rica.
Prior to the activity, students were asked to familiarize themselves with their field guide to animals of Costa Rica. The students received a handout and the instructor presented the activity beforehand (both attached). The activity was a scavenger hunt to find, among the animals displayed in the room, species with a wide variety of traits. For example, students were asked to find a species that was venomous, poisonous, takes care of its young, etc.
This activity would give students a hands-on opportunity to learn and apply information about reptiles and amphibians of Costa Rica, so they would remember for the trip planned for spring break. Students would be rewarded by candy, and would have opportunities to receive more candy if they finished early.
The scavenger hunt generated enthusiasm, encouraged friendly collaboration and competition, and helped give student’s explorations a sense of purpose. The instructor believes that this activity may be better as a group or a team activity, but she made it an individual project.