DC Oakes Hybrid Animals
CASTLE ROCK -
The alternative high school Daniel C. Oakes is proving there is more than one way to learn STEM. A trip to Nadene Klein’s zoology class makes it obvious. “It’s a very STEM project. There’s science, technology, engineering, and math.” There is some art too as students begin drawing a rough draft of a hybrid animal. Sholphins, Catccoons, and Elphinos are just some of the fictitious creatures the students have created.
It’s also a lesson in genetics. “To know which traits are going to go into what animal and the percentage of traits that a parent will pass down,” explains senior Kaitlin Paquin. It’s a lesson in biology. “I have to say that’s probably the best part for them,” says Klein. “Trying to mix and match animals - and especially thinking about what are their favorite animals. Could they biologically be compatible?”
The next step is taking the two dimensions and turning then into three. This is done via 3D modeling software. They take basic shapes and assemble them in a three dimensional space. The project then comes to life with a 3D printer.
Perhaps the biggest lesson in this class is perseverance. Whether it’s starting from scratch on a deleted project, or fighting a stubborn printer, these students aren’t giving up. “We talked about perseverance, and resiliency, and strategies to get through that from even just taking a break for a minute and taking a deep breath and stepping away,” says Klein. It’s all part of learning at DC Oakes.