Sharing what they learned

Sharing what they learned

Jan 3
Walt Hurley, Professor of Animal Sciences

The game show host wore a sports jacket, jeans, and a HUGE red bow tie. The water chemist came dressed in a large rubber apron and goggles, while the farmer sported a more traditional John Deere hat. The fish did double duty as a scientist. And the cow, call her 9017, had on white slacks and a white top, both covered with large black spots. Her headband with pink ears looked more like those of a cat, but one ear had a large yellow tag with her number. During that game show, this group of students educated their audience about the sources and effects of man-made estrogenic substances in the environment.

In another group, students took on the role of an animal species and developed a short poem about the effects of environmental estrogen on their character. Still other groups developed skits that examined management of dairy farm wastewater, bioconversion of estrogen in the environment, detection of environmental estrogen, the regulation of dairy wastewater, and other related topics.

These students in ANSC 498 – Integrating Animal Sciences – taught their fellow classmates, a few faculty, and other visitors, what they learned after spending the semester working on a project focused on the excretion of estrogenic hormones in wastewater from dairy farms. The project touched on reproductive physiology, dairy cattle management, animal waste handling, environmental bioconversion of hormones, estrogen as an environmental contaminant and its effects on animals, and policies and laws associated with farm wastewater.

Challenged to develop a skit to demonstrate what they had learned about their topic areas and the project as a whole, these students provided a glimpse into what they learned and how they think about their topics. As their teacher, I am continually, and always very pleasantly, amazed at how creative our students can be in sharing their knowledge when given open-ended opportunities such as this.