University Veterinarian Works With Pomona High School Teacher to Enhance Science Curriculum Experience


University Veterinarian Works With Pomona High School Teacher to Enhance Science Curriculum Experience
Zeke walks on a treadmill under the gaze of Holly Green as part of a research project on the effects of altitude on the stamina of mules at the university's Equine Research Center. A similar study is underway on the effects of horses.

Steven Wickler, director of Equine Research, has been conducting horse research with a local high school science teacher since May.

Sonal Patel generally teaches about anatomy and research to his students at Pomona High School, but this summer, he?s the one conducting the research. Since May, Patel has worked with Cal Poly Pomona?s Steven Wickler, director of Equine Research and university veterinarian, to study the metabolic rates of horse muscles at high and low altitudes.

Time spent in the labs has reacquainted Patel with research techniques and strategies as well as provided new ideas for classroom teaching.

?It?s been like coming back to school again,? Patel says. ?It?s a challenge for me, but it improves my teaching by leaps and bounds.?

Patel is one of only 14 teachers selected nationwide to participate in Frontiers in Physiology, a program of the American Physiological Society (APS), in which teachers and physiologists work collaboratively to improve science education at middle and high school levels. Wickler, also a professor of Equine Science and Animal & Veterinary Sciences, serves as his host.

?I think educating science teachers is a critical component of education,? Wickler says. ?You have to have teachers interested in science so they can convey the same interest to their students. This seemed like a great avenue, so I was interested in hosting.?

Since 1990, more than 120 APS members have hosted more than 250 middle and high school teachers nationwide. Subsequently, about 250,000 students have benefited from this program.