I'm a science teacher at a high-needs, high-poverty middle school in Brooklyn. I work with great kids who need a whole lot of help. One of my constant challenges is teaching biology and other 'natural' sciences to students who have never been outside of the city and thus have never really seen 'nature'. Imagine trying to learn ecology when the only ecosystem you know is Brooklyn.
This year, we're going to give the students a small but powerful experience with nature. A few other teachers and I are about to build some very cool vivaria and use some of them to house some very neat frogs. Our kids are already going nuts for these windows into the rainforest, and they aren't even planted yet! I'm confident that they will learn a great deal in the process of making and observing them.
Our plan is to set up each tank with a variety of plants, and if possible get a few frogs into them as well. I keep D. auratus in a vivarium at home and understand the challenges we'll face in keeping frogs in the class.
Our project got started last night with the hugely generous donation of four beautifully hardscaped 20 gallon vertical tanks from dendroboard member rjmarchisi. Thanks Rob, and thanks especially for throwing in the lights! We're now in the process of sourcing the rest of what we need, which includes:
*Plants (lots of plants - I can only get so far with cuttings from home!)
*Under-tank heating pads (preferred) or 50 watt immersion heaters
*Timers for lights
*If possible a misting system.
*Some D. leucomelas or possibly solitary or proven pair tincs (including azureus). Juveniles are fine and would probably add to the learning experience. On that note, we might also be able to make great use of eggs or tadpoles, if anyone has any spares. How cool would it be for the kids to see their class pet grow out from egg to tadpole to frog? I'd just have to find a good working microscope so that the whole class can see the details...
If there's any way you can help us out with this, we and our students would be very greatful. Now that we have these wonderful tanks we're keen to get planting soon! We can't offer much if any money -- this is being financed by only donations and our own paychecks -- but we can promise that your donation will inspire at least 100 kids on a daily basis. I'm centrally located in NYC and willing to travel most anywhere in the city to pick up. We also have fast and reliable mail delivery to the school.
We can't get our kids into nature, but you can help us bring nature to them. If you have anything you'd like to give please reply to this post or email me at the address below.
Thanks for reading,