Demo Training

Volunteers are needed to learn the different demos offered by the SRC. A demo is a presentation centered on particular animals or scientific concept. The volunteer is trained in content and any specific handling skills needed for the animals. Demos are scheduled at all levels of instruction. Demos generally last one class period (30-50 minutes) and are presented to no more than 2 classes at a time. Multiple demos may be needed in order to accommodate all students in a grade level.

If you are interested in being a demo volunteer, check out the SRC calendar for the next training class that interests you. The following lists current demos.


Opossums Pre-K/PPCD (30 minutes).  A stuffed opossum is used to demonstrate the special adaptations and characteristics of this Native American marsupial.  Please limit these presentations to fall semester only.

Animal Friends:  Pre-K/PPCD (30 minutes).  An assortment of live animals (such as a rabbit, bird, turtle, frog, snake or lizard) are used to introduce students to basic animal traits.

Guinea Pigs:  Kindergarten (30 minutes).  A story, Guinea Pigs Don’t Read Books, is read and discussed.  A live guinea pig is shown.  (Pig can be handled.)  Please limit these presentations to fall semester only.

Hedgehog Demo:  Kindergarten (30 minutes).  The Hat by Jan Brett is read and discussed and a live hedgehog is shown.  (Hedgy can be handled.)

Small Mammals:  1st grade (45 minutes).  A live chinchilla is used to demonstrate its characteristics, behaviors and adaptations to the environment. Then students compare this mammal’s adaptations to those of the hamster.  (Animals are not handled.)

Eggs and Nests Demo:  1st grade (45 minutes).  Students observe a variety of eggs as they compare and contrast their physical properties.  Children explore a bag of objects to discover if and how the items roll to discover why egg shape is important.  A variety of bird nests are displayed for observation.  Please limit these presentations to fall semester only.

Body Coverings Demo:  2nd grade (45 minutes).  A combination of live animals and teaching aids are used to describe the body coverings of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.  Featured animals include a lizard, tree frog, dove and hamster.  (Animals are handled.)  This was designed to go with the Undercover Lab for which materials are available from SRC.

Snakes:  2rd grade (45 minutes). Students review characteristics of reptiles and learn the unique adaptations of snakes.  They will observe several live, non-venomous specimens and various teaching aids.  Featured animals include the Trans Pecos rat snake, gray banded king snake and a coral mimic.  (Animals are handled.)

Insects:  2nd grade (45 minutes). The insect's place in our ecosystem will be discussed.  A sample insect collection will be shown along with live African hissing cockroaches.  (Animals may be handled.)

Amphibians:  3rd grade (45 minutes).  A selection of live amphibians is available for close examination by the students.  Various characteristics and interesting behaviors of amphibians are discussed.  Featured animals may include the salamander, fire belly newt, gulf coast toad, clawed frog, siren and rococo toad.  (Animals are handled.)

Arthropods:  3rd grade (50 minutes). Live and preserved specimens are used to compare and contrast characteristics of different classes of arthropods.  Featured animals may include the millipede, tarantula, hissing cockroach, land hermits, a scorpion and pill bugs.  (The millipede and hissing cockroach are handled.)

Galveston Bay Ecology:  4th grade (50 minutes).  Students learn the unique features and importance of Galveston Bay and how the plants and animals that live there are adapted for this ecosystem.

Aquatic Bird Study Skins:  4th grade (50 minutes).  Students observe different aquatic bird skins to discover their adaptations for life in or near the water.  Students will participate in an exploratory activity to discover how certain beaks are adapted to eat specific foods.  Students need paper and pen or pencil.           

Reptiles:  4th grade (45 minutes).  A selection of live reptiles will be available for close examination by the students with a discussion of their various characteristics and interesting behaviors.  Featured animals include the box turtle, soft shell turtle, red-eared slider, lizard and corn snake.  (Animals are handled.)

Bird Study Skins:  5th grade (50 minutes).  Study skins will be used to illustrate the many unique characteristics and adaptations of this class of animals.  Students need paper and pen or pencil.           

Mammal Skulls:  5th grade (50 minutes).  The volunteer discusses traits such as eye placement and tooth arrangement to provide clues for the students to guess the identity of common skulls. They will then be given the correct answer with a discussion of similarities and differences and identifying characteristics.  Students need paper and pen or pencil.

CSI Cy-Fair:  5th grade (50 minutes)   Students solve a “who done it” mystery as they rotate through three station lab investigations analyzing fingerprints, fiber samples and chromatography samples.

Ecosystems:  6th grade (50 minutes).  The volunteer brings a variety of live animals to link as a food chain, ultimately creating a food web.  A power point presentation accompanies the lesson.  Featured animals may include a rat or mouse family, snake and a toad.  (Animals are handled.)

Biomes:  7th grade (50 minutes).  The volunteer brings a variety of plants and animals indigenous to several of the biomes studied:  tundra, desert, grassland/savannah, deciduous forest, rainforest.  Featured animals may include the Uromastyx, snake, hamsters, a millipede and night crawlers.  (Animals are shown in their cages.)

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