YSU professor, lab rats illustrate scientific method to students at Baker Elementary School

Dr. Tall teaching students about the scientific method

Youngstown State University professor Dr. Jill Tall traveled to Baker Elementary School on Friday, November 22, 2019, to help educate students in Kristen Terlecky’s third grade science classes.  

Dr. Tall, who earned her PhD in biomedical science with focus on neurobiology and pharmacology, brought her albino lab rats to help students gain a better understanding of the scientific method. During her visit, Dr. Tall detailed the lives of lab rats.  She explained their behaviors and discussed their eating habits. She then proposed a question to the students about whether the rats, which primarily eat grains, would be more tempted to try a piece of papaya or a cracker if both items were presented to them.  The students formed their hypothesis expressing they believed the rats would be inclined to try the papaya. Then, Dr. Tall conducted the experiment. At the end of the experiment, students drew the conclusion that the rats preferred the sweeter food.

“I hope that our third graders have been able to gain a better understanding of how the scientific process can be applied to a real world experience.  I think that it's important for these elementary students to see how fun and exciting science can be, and we are fortunate that Dr. Tall was willing to share her expertise and provide that positive example for them,” said teacher Kristen Terlecky.  

Dr. Tall, who teaches human physiology, pharmacology and behavioral neuroscience at Youngstown State University, presented three, one-hour presentations about the scientific method to the entire third grade class at Baker Elementary School.

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