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Educational Animal Skeletons

Updated on April 12, 2015

Introduction

Science fair projects can deal with just about any topic that you are interested in. One very popular topic/subject for science fair projects is zoology. Zoology is a field of study that examines the specific kingdom of animals. Zoology projects can explore anything about animals from their physiology to their psychology. However, since zoology is such a popular subject for students you will need to come up with an angle that is unique, shocking or amazing in order to stand out from the other zoology projects.

Educational Animal Skeletons

Educational animal skeletons and skulls can be used for a number of roles in a science fair project. They can be used as demonstration piece, they can be used to support your theories, or they can be used for experimentation. If you want to use an animal skeleton as a part of your science fair project you need to make sure that (1) the skeleton was collected ethically and (2) it was prepared in a manner to reduce the risks for biological contamination.

Animal Skeletons and Skulls - 3D Models

The first use of animal skeletons and skulls is to use them as a 3D model for your project. In this situation you can utilize resin or plastic animal skeletons and skulls instead of the real things. This is a viable option for those students that do not want to handle real bones. However, if you have a well prepared real skeleton, then that is also an option.

When using a skeleton or a skill as a 3D model you need to be able to identify each of the parts of the skeleton or skull that relates to your project. For example, if your project was about the bite strength of a particular animal then you would want to be able to identify where the muscles attached to the skull and what the names of the muscles in the face are. You would also need to know which muscles are used to contract the jaw and which muscles are used to open the jaw.


Handling Real Skeletons and Skulls

If you are planning to extend your science education into high school or college you will need to get used to handling biological material, such as animal skeletons and skulls. The best way to deal with this challenge is to utilize safety standards that relate to handling any biological material. You will want to wear gloves, a face mask and goggle if you are handling remains that you found in a field and cleaned yourself. If you are working with professionally prepared skeletal remains then you can handle the materials with your bare hands, however, it is good practice to use gloves when working on any experiment. This helps you to reduce chances of contaminating your experiment.

Teaching with Animal Skeletons and Skulls

While students can use educational animal skeletons and skulls for their science fair projects, they can also be used as a teaching aid. Teachers can use educational animal skeletons and skulls to visually demonstrate to students what is found under the skin and muscle. These teaching aids can be used in physiology, biology, zoology and even social science presentations.

The key to using educational animal skeletons and skulls as a teaching aid is to make sure that you know what the parts are. If you are not familiar with all of the names of the bones in a skeleton then keep a chart handy that lists the bone names. As you give your lecture let your students get a close look at the skeleton. You will want to point out how the parts of the skeleton work together to make an animal move in a manner that gives it some sort of advantage. For example, you can point out that the position and shape of a human pelvis allow humans to stand up right and to walk easily on two legs.

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