by STEM facilitator Nedum Aniemeka

Sisters for Science at Ariel has only been up and running for a few weeks now at Ariel and the girls are already changing the face of science! Well, so to speak – the girls got to create their own animal species!

Last week, one of our amazing Project Exploration STEM Professionals, Charlene McCord, came to Ariel to talk to the girls about evolution. Charlene has been working with Project Exploration for years now and brings great energy to the class, which is perfect for getting the girls excited about science!

To introduce the girls to the idea of evolution, Charlene passed around a picture of a big cat and asked the girls what feature the cat had that made it suitable to live out in the wild. One of our 5th graders, Adejah, said that big cats had large teeth. When Charlene asked what those teeth were good for, Faith said hunting. That’s right! Certain traits that animals have can determine the kind of life they have in the wild.

To apply the idea of evolution to the day’s activity, the girls were asked to create their own animals! Using nature magazines and a coloring book, the girls could form their own species of animals and use its body parts to dictate where in the wild it would live. Aniyah’s group decided that they really liked camels, but wanted them to have an inverted hump! When I asked her why, she said “this camel would live in a wet place” so it didn’t need all of that water. I just want to know how you would ride on it! Laurie’s group decided to combine a rhinoceros, a dinosaur, and a hippo to make the world’s longest name for an animal: rhinoceroptocaurustops. Say that 5 times fast. Their animal lived in a cave and ate plants, so it wasn’t as scary as an actual rhino or dinosaur!

All in all, the girls had some pretty creative animals and did a good job of explaining the habitats they chose for them. Looks like we’ve got a few evolutionists on our hands!

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