P-2 and Year 3 to 6 students proved to be budding malacologists (scientists who study snails) when the Snail Whisperers visited their school as part of the Future Makers program which is outsourced from Queensland Museum.
Some students brought in land snails from their properties and were able to learn both the scientific and common names of these species.
The students were particularly fascinated with the emerald green snails from Manus Island who survive with this bright green colour as they live in the tops of palm trees on the island. The emerald green snail or Manus green tree snail, scientific name Papustyla pulcherrima, is a species of large, air-breathing tree-snail. This snail is now a protected species internationally.
As an extension to the World Science Festival, the Snail Whisperers visited 5 local schools to work directly with students on land snails, part of their life science studies covering topics such as animal features, types of snails, adaptations to the environment, conservation and many other relevant STEM learnings. Enthusiast groups of P-2 and 3-6 students at Kogan State School had lots of fun learning about our native land snails and meeting them as they crawled on their hands.
Most were shocked to know that in many Asian countries, a snail facial with snails crawling across your face, was considered an expensive beauty treatment. Snail slime has been known to have healing properties for nearly 3000 years.
Chinchilla lived up to its chilly name as it hosted a number of scientists for a 2 day presentation – a free community day event is on Sunday 6 June and a student day for schools on Monday 7 June. All were immersed in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at this exciting event returning to Chinchilla from 2020. Sessions included a Science Extravaganza Showcase that explored cool science careers and mind-blowing science experiments, and City Of Science where all who attended experienced close-up to exciting science activities and fascinating displays.
The Snail Whisperers were one such display. They enjoyed chatting with many members of the public and lots of school children during this time and teaching them about the wonders of land snails. Did you know our land snails have more than 20 000 teeth?
A group of highly enthusiastic young scientists worked with the Snail Whisperers to learn about land snails particularly how they adapt to the environment. Here they are enjoying science learning. Congratulations to the teachers who showed just how science learning can be enhanced by their own enthusiasm and preparation.