School Visits?

kellygirl

Arachnoprince
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Last week, a local teacher called me up because she heard that I have lizards from one of my friends. She was doing a unit on reptiles with her students so she had me bring in one of my babies. I brought Malachi, my Uromastyx, who was very well-behaved. The kids LOVED him and asked so many questions. Most of them held or touched him. It was wonderful!

I am interested in sharing my tarantula collection with others. I think Botar and Holley have brought inverts to schools before... but I'm not sure. Do any of you have experiences with bringing your inverts into classrooms? How would I go about volunteering this type of service? Do you have to do "disclaimers"?

kellygirl
 

najig21

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Oct 9, 2002
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Classrooms

I have given presentations to my own high school classes, and one other high school class, as well as my little brother's class. I always bring my Avicularia versicolor, because if anything can prove tarantulas aren't ugly, it's that. Although I don't ever take that one out. I do also bring my G. rosea and my A. chalcodes. I take those out, and some people will touch the G. rosea. Every single presentation that I've done, the most people was 112, went well. Very well. I can however give you this warning: it is wise to know the general mood of the audience, or their opinions. The last one I gave to a group of 10 people, I never even got to the taking them out of the cage point, and they were screaming on the top of their lungs as the spiders and scorpions moved. (that is not, I repeat NOT, an exaggeration) One lady had a 6 year old kid that went off in the corner and cried of fear. I had top cut that one short, because I couldn't handle anything that was going on around me, it was too chaotic. So know how many people fear them or hate them, before you do it. Other than that, it really is a fun thing to do. Anywho, I've probably blabbed enough. Mille grazie. Arrivederci.
 

Botar

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KG,

Check with your local school district and see if they have spiders being studied as a part of the curriculum. In my city, it is a part of the 2nd grade curriculum. I'm hoping to go to more than just my daughter's school in the future. My daughter is in the 1st grade and they study insects in the spring. Her teacher has already asked me to bring in an assortment of "bugs".

When I pick my daughter up from school, a lot of the kids say hi to "Spiderman". I'm a celeb in the minds of 2nd graders.

Botar
 

Botar

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Here is a picture of me and my "host" second grader (neighbor kid) who invited me to his class.

Botar
 

Immortal_sin

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they call me the 'spider lady' at Shelby's school LOL!
Luckily, her teachers have been really into it, and they ask us to do presentations. I'd also check to see if it's in their curriculum, like Botar mentioned.
I do take my spiders out, but only if the children are behaving.
I also bring an A versicolor, and usually a calm terrestrial.
I don't know about liability though
Holley
 

genious_gr

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Well, last summer my friend and I found a dead little snake on the road. We put it in a bottle with alcohol to preserve it. So one day, he had the brilliant idea to bring it to school.... He ended up been sent of for the rest of the day (I guess him trying to scare a prof. helped a lot.....)

Another day, a large(huge) grasshoper came in the classroom....Imagine all the girls packed in the other end of the classromm and me trying to take it outside hehe..

Anyway, my point is I don't think things in Greece are mature enough for demonstrations in the classrooms.....
 

Joy

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Originally posted by kellygirl

I am interested in sharing my tarantula collection with others. I think Botar and Holley have brought inverts to schools before... but I'm not sure. Do any of you have experiences with bringing your inverts into classrooms? How would I go about volunteering this type of service? Do you have to do "disclaimers"?

kellygirl
I've done many of these presentations for both elementary age and middle school students. In my case the situation came about through my daughter, who told her fifth grade teacher about our collection, and I brought them to show her class and the other fifth grade class. Nowadays I do presentations for classes my daughter isn't even in, because the other teachers have heard of me via word of mouth. You could try contacting local science teachers and volunteering to talk to their classes. I have never given any disclaimers, just explanations (expect to get asked at least a dozen times if tarantulas bite and have venom), but I have heard some school districts have regulations regarding venomous animals.

Joy

Joy
 

sunnymarcie

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Some schools..................

The best thing to do is ask. As long as, all of the parents are informed there should not be a problem. I would NOT let any of the kids handle
the animals, touch some of them yes, hold them NO.
There are many children that have NEVER been stung
by anything.(or bit) As you know, they could have a serious reaction. :eek:
I have taken some of my critters to my son's class, we had a blast! The kids always ask if we
have something new to bring. In the spring we
will be taking in some of the critters again. =D
 

kellygirl

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Thanks everyone! Glad to hear that it's been done in other places.

OKay... what is the best way to explain tarantula venom without scaring people--or at least put their minds at ease enough to let me bring them into a classroom?

kellygirl
 

Botar

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Just don't take anything with medically significant venom and explain that the severity of a bite would be similar, or less serious, than a bee sting.

Out of concern for the T's, I wouldn't let anyone hold them, IMO. With that being said, I had the teacher sit at a table and I had a G. rosea walk across her hands while she rested them on the table. The kids got a big kick out of that.

Botar
 

kellygirl

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Originally posted by Botar
Just don't take anything with medically significant venom and explain that the severity of a bite would be similar, or less serious, than a bee sting.

Which species or genera are considered "medically significant" besides the obvious Poecilotheria and Stromatopelma?

Would it, theoretically, be okay to bring species such as H. lividium or C. thorelli to SHOW, not to hold?

kellygirl
 

deifiler

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me and my twin brother used to do talks to the infants and juniors, at the time though we were 10-14 (we did it years running)

one time we let some kids hold the madagascan hissin roaches, one kid shit their pants when it hissed, dropped it and it ran off, haha

EDIT:

DONT let kids hold ANY of your spiders, not even the tame ones. the world today has turned into a twisted state that revolves around greed - one bite from your spider, as a result from a kid annoying it, or the spider simply not liking bein held (whata sentence) and before you know it the kids parents is sueing you, then wants your spiders took off you, then down goes the school for letting them have spiders

thats to the extreme, but if a kid gets bit, they'll kill the spider
 
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galeogirl

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As a former personal injury paralegal, I would hesitate to let children in a classroom handle your ts. They're not like a snake or lizard where you can gently control the head to avoid a bite and, in the event of a bite, it could be a lawsuit with serious ramifications (i.e., large sums in reparation, more restrictive exotic animal laws). A house cat can bite a child and nobody cares, but if a reptile or a spider bites a child, it makes the news, even though the cat bite is probably more dangerous.
 

kellygirl

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Originally posted by galeogirl
A house cat can bite a child and nobody cares, but if a reptile or a spider bites a child, it makes the news, even though the cat bite is probably more dangerous.
Isn't that a shame... :( So do you think I could safely bring my tarantulas to a school, handle them myself in front of the classroom, allow the teacher to handle them (if he/she wants), and let the kids admire them from afar and through the glass?

kellygirl
 

Bob the thief

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Originally posted by deifiler
me and my twin brother used to do talks to the infants and juniors, at the time though we were 10-14 (we did it years running)

one time we let some kids hold the madagascan hissin roaches, one kid shit their pants when it hissed, dropped it and it ran off, haha


I dont find that funny......

Anyways I used to work for the zoo doing this , and now my mothers school wants me to. These are the guidelines my boss (the bug keeper) has.

1.When I did it at the zoo some people ran in fear.
Some parents dident want me near the cage much less there child. (I think I used to scare them off by accident as I usally had a hisser crawling on me ;) ) so make sure they know

2.DO NOT REMOVE THE TARANTULA FROM ITS CAGE UNLESS ALL THE PARENTS KNOW! (NOT EVEN TO HANDLE IT YOURSELF)
Tarantulas can suddenly make a run for it and then youll have trouble if it runs on your back like my chaco does.

3. Dont bring aggresive t's becuase if an accident happens it can bring a mess of problems

4.Bring a mix of animals people get bored of a tarantulas so I mix in snails , t's , scorps , interesting roaches, and millipedes. One time I took a centipede but this was becuase it was a presentation for a adults that knew what those centipedes could do. Overall just bring plain looking animals with interesting behaviors or great looking animals.

5.Bring help
:D

6.Have one of those nets for fish in handy (make sure its twice the size of the animal. I know I know you dont need it but I like to have it becuase I had a avic run up a wall once and I was happy I had one on me.


Thats basiclly it , all the guidelines we had at the zoo.
 
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krystal

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i've brought my tarantulas to school--the first time was for my daughter's kindergarden class. since then, i've brought them in for show-and-tell ten or more times this year alone--and like joy, word was spread via mouths.

i never took them out of their containers, except to move them from their lavish 10-gal aquarium to a more cozy (and easier to carry) 5-gal pet pal. i have to admit, it would be tempting to take out a tarantula and hold it to show off to the crowd (no one loves the "ohh's" and "ahh's" more than me!) but it seems safer and easier to leave them in their containers in the long run. then you don't have to worry about a normally docile tarantula taking that opportunity to bolt or nick your finger. this leads to wide-spread panic in the audience, making it difficult to regain control of the situation again.

i've always found that the audience is generally happy to peer into a pet pal to see a tarantula. many people have never come in contact with huge, hairy spiders before and are content with them behind plastic.

i will, however, let them touch any old exuviae i have (which always requires a helper or two from the audience to carry the shadow box containing the exuviae around so everyone has a chance to see it), only after telling the audience about the urticating hair and letting the teachers know the kids will have to wash their hands with soap and water after the presentation.

i did let my former a. geniculata (r.i.p.) spend a week in my daughter's first-grade classroom. i made a list of tarantula-sitting rules on a piece of posterboard for the teacher to post. and even though my a. genic was no where near moulting, the kids kept hoping he would for them.

i think taking your t's around to share is a great idea. good luck.
 

kellygirl

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Originally posted by krystal
then you don't have to worry about a normally docile tarantula taking that opportunity to bolt or nick your finger. this leads to wide-spread panic in the audience, making it difficult to regain control of the situation again.

Yeah, that sounds like a situation you wouldn't want to get yourself into!


Originally posted by krystal
i will, however, let them touch any old exuviae i have
Oooh, I like that idea! Hadn't thought of that!


Originally posted by krystal
i think taking your t's around to share is a great idea. good luck.
Thanks! :) I wish someone had come to my school with tarantulas when I was little. Then maybe I would've discovered them earlier!

kellygirl
 

kellygirl

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Originally posted by Bob the thief
4.Bring a mix of animals people get bored of a tarantulas so I mix in snails , t's , scorps , interesting roaches, and millipedes. One time I took a centipede but this was becuase it was a presentation for a adults that knew what those centipedes could do. Overall just bring plain looking animals with interesting behaviors or great looking animals.

You've just inspired me to broaden my collection beyond tarantulas! :)

Does anyone have any suggestions for beginner scorps, pedes, or other inverts? Preferably ones that have reasonable lifespans. Sorry Alex S.... don't know if I'm ready for Solifugids!

kellygirl
 

krystal

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on an even more personal note: botar, you should replace your pig avatar with that pic of you at school. i don't think the entire arachnopets community appreciates your awesome body!

and hey, why _didn't_ you participate in the arachnowet t-shirt contest? with pec's like those, bill would have had some much-appreciated (and much-needed) competition!
 
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