PEER Veterinary Students Educate K-12 Students During Summer 2016
Posted June 28, 2016
The CVM PEER program at Texas
A&M University provides veterinary students with the
opportunity to share their knowledge about One Health and
veterinary medicine with K-12 students and teachers throughout
Texas. PEER’s teleconferences by veterinary students,
veterinarians, and scientists and PEER's middle school
classroom curricula are used throughout the US. The PEER Veterinary
Student Fellows this summer are Aurash Behroozi (3VM), Chelsea
Gartman (3VM), Maddie Wiersig (3VM), Clarissa Root (3VM), Chanel
Berns (2VM), and Mikaela Stanislav (2VM). As Veterinary Student
Fellows, these students have capitalized on opportunities to
enhance their communication skills while they stimulate K-12
students' interest in STEM.
Already this summer, PEER Veterinary Student Fellows have
presented to over 1500 students at schools, camps, libraries, and
museums. Students ranged from pre-kindergarteners to undergraduate
students. PEER veterinary students adapted lesson plans to meet the
educational capabilities and state education standards (TEKS) of
different K-12 student groups. Pictured to the right is Aurash
Behroozi teaching at Bonham Carter Elementary School. “Teaching pet
health to students enables me to practice explaining companion
animal husbandry to my future clients,” Behroozi said.
￼Behroozi teaches animal
husbandry to Bonham Carter Elementary School students.
Even disastrous weather didn’t stop PEER veterinary students
from reaching out to Texas students. On May 26, Maddie Wiersig and
Chelsea Gartman’s presentation at Bryan High School was interrupted
for two hours by a tornado that touched down in Bryan. The
following day, flooding in Houston temporarily stranded Chelsea
Gartman and Clarissa Root after a day of presentations at
Whispering Pines Elementary School in Humble. The drive home, which
should have lasted two hours, turned into a six-hour ordeal.
Despite the obstacles, PEER veterinary students agreed that the
opportunity to educate students about veterinary medicine was well
worth the effort.
On June 6-10, PEER worked with Aggie Academy, a
weeklong camp for high school senior winners of the Texas
Science and Engineering Fair. Aggie Academy campers participated in
presentations and activities about Nutrition, Dentistry,
Reproductive Surgery, and Analysis of Histology Images orchestrated
by PEER Veterinary Student Fellows. High school students at Aggie
Academy were excited to learn about advanced science topics and
different STEM opportunities that would not normally be included in
a high school curriculum. “I never knew the details of the
calculations for standard deviation [until attending Aggie
Academy],” was one student’s response to attending
Analysis of Histology Images by Dr. Larry Johnson.
PEER veterinary students also accompanied the Aggie Academy
students on a tour of the Schubot Avian Health Complex and the
Winnie Carter Wildlife Center. “The students had many great
questions for Dr. Tizard and Lisa,” Gartman said. “One student
asked about the myth of an ostrich hiding its head in the ground.
An ostrich doesn’t actually bury its head in the sand,” Behroozi
added. Dr. Tizard talked about bird intelligence and how knowledge
of bird behavior and birds' habits can help with conservation
efforts when birds' habitats are threatened. PEER would like to
thank Dr. Tizard, Lisa Roberts-Helton, Dr. Blue, Dr. Eckert, Dr.
Stickney, and Katy Waddell for helping make the veterinary medicine
part of the Aggie Academy a huge success!
Gartman and Wiersig had the opportunity to tour
behind-the-scenes at the Houston Zoo to further their veterinary
education as part of a PEER trip to Houston. While in Houston, they
also taught Houston Humane Society campers about pet care and
animal behavior. “The tour of the Houston Zoo was fantastic!”
Gartman said, “We learned about elephant herpes virus and the
collaboration between the Houston Zoo and Baylor College of
Medicine to prevent future elephant deaths." Gartman added, "PEER
has provided me a wonderful opportunity to practice my
communications skills and interact with people of all ages which
will no doubt benefit my future veterinary career."
PEER also assisted with 4-H Vet Science Camp for students
between ages 11 and 18 who had qualified at district competitions
throughout Texas. PEER taught the 4-H Vet Science Camp participants
about animal breeds, veterinary instruments, parasites, veterinary
skills, and body organs. Root also served as one of the judges for
the 4-H Vet Science Communications competition. “I was very
impressed by the level of preparation and enthusiasm for veterinary
medicine that the 4-H students demonstrated. They delivered some
outstanding speeches!” Root commented. Thank you to Dr. Mask for
inviting PEER to help with 4-H Vet Science Camp!
￼￼Wiersig and Gartman
learn about elephants behind-the-scenes at the Houston Zoo.
For more information visit PEER's website
or email Dr. Larry Johnson
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