Animals always tend to be a topic of interest with children. KidsTek instructor, Kiki Andriani, harnessed that interest and created a fun wildlife unit for her students during this summer’s online KidsTek class at Kenton Elementary in Aurora. This unit was made up of interesting information, myth busters about different wildlife, interviews with experts and a lot of discussion about wild animals from around the world.
Kiki interviewed three experts for this unit, which served as online guest speakers. The first was Victoria Owen, a wildlife biologist who works as an Environmental Planner for Parsons. Secondly, Kiki got information from Christina Polasek who is also a wildlife biologist, and former forest ranger who has been able to help with many different kinds of wildlife rehabilitations. Finally, the Kenton students got to learn from an interview conducted with Dustin Polasek, who earned a degree in forestry management and is now the vegetation management supervisor for Aspen Tree Service. Dustin also got to share his experience about his time in Africa helping endangered animals such as poached rhinos, giraffes and other African wildlife.
By hearing from a well-rounded group of experts in the field, the students from Kenton elementary were able to have a peek into a possible future career or hobby. Many of the students expressed interest in working with animals and the environment. It is not tricky to get a group of elementary students excited about animals, especially when the teacher is passionate about them herself. Kiki Andriani said, “I am passionate about wildlife and believe that we are one with nature, not separate from it, which is why human existence depends on it. As an educator, I believe it is my responsibility to share this fervor with students and spark an interest in future generations!”