Wartburg Professor Engages Students with Reptiles
By Christina Targosz, Reporter.
WAVERLY, Iowa - Dr. Michael Bechtel's classroom on the Wartburg campus looks more like a pet shop. He got his first snake in college.
"Part of it is an addiction because you get it and I'm like 'Oh that's a cool snake' and then you're like 'Oh that ones cool too,'" Bechtel said.
Today he has more than 30 different species of snake, tortoise, lizard, frog and insect. But he doesn't know exactly how many he has.
"No idea, I wouldn't even know how many cockroaches," Bechtel said.
Along with the enjoyment that Dr. Bechtel gets out of his reptiles, he uses them as a learning tool to help engage students in his daily lectures.
"Its a really great learning tool, because it can really bring you back in, especially when I'm talking about biology," Bechtel said.
The animals don't just stay in his classroom. He loans them out to local and elementary schools too.
"Its a benefit for me, because it gives me a chance to get out in the elementary classrooms and its a benefit for the kids because they, hands on, get to learn about it," Bechtel said.
He hopes the reptiles bring a new enjoyment for learning to his students.
"My goal, especially as part of the education opportunity, is that if you want to hold a snake while you're taking notes then you can hold a snake while you're taking notes," Bechtel said.
Dr. Michael Bechtel can be contacted at the Wartburg College Biology Department: 319-352-8280 or email@example.com.
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