Prairie View A&M Research Scientist Shaye Lewis, from left, displays specimens to A.J. Ollis, Mario Castellanos and Karina Montano.
HOUSTON – Nov. 4, 2016 – A group of district high school students and faculty took advantage of almost-fall-like weather last Thursday, Oct. 27, to get outside at Nagy Pavilion and participate in an Animal Science Day offering hands-on learning opportunities, demonstrations and expert presentations.
As part of a range of science-themed events throughout the morning, students got an up-close opportunity to study the digestive tract and internal organs of a goat, participated in a case study exercise on the death of a calf, and even practiced their forensic puzzle-solving skills while examining and reconstructing the skeleton of a full-grown cow that had died at a local farm just a few weeks earlier. Later in the day, a presentation on the important roles played by service animals and professional working animals was given by Spring ISD Police Officer Fuentes and featuring special guest K-9 Officer Paco, the district’s narcotic detector dog.
Students also participated in a small-group presentation and discussion with Dr. Shaye Lewis, Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Agricultural Research Center research scientist. He spoke about animal fertility issues and the process of breeding for the selection of desirable characteristics in the field of commercial animal husbandry. Lewis, whose research at Prairie View is focused primarily on reproductive physiology, pointed out that studies on large-animal reproductive biology – such as his department’s work with goats at Prairie View – can shed important light on the understanding of human reproductive biology. In talking with students at Nagy Pavilion, he encouraged them to get excited about science, study hard and always be on the lookout for fresh insights and ideas.
Open to all of the district’s high schools, the Animal Science Day activities drew students from Spring High School and Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, including a number of students enrolled in Wunsche’s Veterinary Science Pathway, under the direction of teachers Jessica Graham and Carling Loulis, who together planned and arranged last Thursday’s activities at the pavilion.
About L.C. Nagy Pavilion – The pavilion serves as the district’s show barn where the Spring Livestock Show and Fair is held annually during the spring. Located at 24307 Hardy Road, it is used throughout the year for outdoor learning experiences.