WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – February 06, 2020 - Diamond View Elementary students in grades one through four created animal enrichment items, hand painted and decorated cardboard boxes for the animals at Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society. The enrichment activity was part of the school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum facilitated by their ASD (autism spectrum disorder) teachers Brianna Riley and Ashley Frost.
“Our goal was to inspire the students to want to learn more how to help animal’s minds stay sharp, learn more about their characteristics, and also plan a well thought out engineering project,” said Riley.
The enrichments were shared with the Zoo’s resident lorikeets and Eclectus parrot. The birds enjoyed the colorful treats awaiting them in their habitats.
“The students did a great job, and our birds were very excited to explore the boxes,” said Zoologist Maura Powers. “Enrichment activities like these keep the animals’ minds engaged by tapping into their natural curiosity.”
According to the teachers, there are many educational goals of a hands-on activities like this one. The students were encouraged to plan, adapt and test boundaries with this project.
“They truly enjoy making the enrichments for the animals,” said Riley. “They are involved in community projects through our school. We encourage the building, planning and research of hands-on activities like this one.”