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STEM I for Middle School - SPARK

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Introduction to Animal Behavior

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

Have you ever wondered how animals communicate? Do they express emotions like humans? Can they learn to solve problems? This activity- and field trip-based course will explore these questions and more.

This course will change the way you think about nature. We will investigate numerous innate and learned behaviors, including but not limited to imprinting, chemical signaling, social structures, and conditioning. Examples will be taken from many species, ranging from the fly to the chimpanzee, demonstrating the complexities and conservation of behaviors across organisms. Although this course will provide a basic framework for understanding animal behavior, we hope students will leave with an ignited passion for ethology and scientific exploration.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
-Compare and contrast human behavior with other animals' behaviors
-Appreciate the range of behaviors animals use to communicate and survive
-Differentiate between observational and experimental data collection

As an inquiry-based course, there are no prerequisites except for an interest in animal behavior and a willingness to participate in classroom activities and discussions. Although new concepts may be introduced by lecture, the emphasis of this course is on learning through activities, observations and experiments. Be prepared for laboratory activities using living specimens, as well as a trip to the Roger William Zoo where we will synthesize what we’ve learned during the week.

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