Students receive hands-on learning during career day

career day

Shaolin Russell, a fifth-grader at Roger Bell Elementary School in Havelock, reacts as she touches a king snake during a career day at Havelock Middle School. The career day featured fourth- and fifth-graders from Roger Bell and Graham A. Barden elementary schools and focused on science, technology, engineering and math. Personnel with the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores brought the snake and mentioned the importance of collecting and analyzing scientific data in assessing the health and population of a species.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 08:38 AM.

Fifth-grader Shaolin Russell didn’t immediately understand the connection between science, math and a king snake.

“I was nervous,” she said. “I don’t know. It was just kind of ewww.”

But in the end, given the opportunity to touch the snake as workers with the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores held it, she closed her eyes, scrunched up her face and tentatively reached out with her two fingers for a gentle rub.

“It felt OK,” she said.

Russell was among the fourth- and fifth-graders from Roger Bell and Graham A. Barden elementary schools who participated in a career day at Havelock Middle School and Early College EAST. The focus was on science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Chesson O’Briant, a special activities instructor with the N.C. Aquarium, said while science and math may not seem important in their world of fish, crabs, birds and reptiles, it’s crucial for biologists to know math as they collect data that deals with animal populations.

“A lot of mathematics goes into it to make sure that we don’t overfish them,” he said.



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