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The STEM of #2

What child isn’t fascinated with the hilarity of poop? Since it seems we can’t get them to stop joking about, perhaps we can try to make it educational. Maybe in the process, we’ll remove some of the humor by replacing it with loads of science. Yes. Science. And not just biology.

I recently toured Fernbank Museum’s newest special exhibit, “The Scoop on Poop.” I’ll admit that I cringed a couple of times and that I may very well have learned more than I wanted to about the various ways and features of “creature digestion completion,” but I was also surprised by the amount of science to explore.

For example, animal waste has made monumental contributions to history. Before we had proper ways of maintaining sanitary waterways, waste carried diseases far and wide. Today, scientists are learning more about how to make use of methane as a renewable energy source. It also provides food for other creatures – one interactive game allows you to manipulate a dung beetle as it pushes a ball of not-real-poop up a hill, which is trickier than it sounds.

If you aren’t near the Atlanta area to explore this exhibit personally, you can still make use of the STEM content through their website, which has a whole section devoted to Common Core correlation for K-12. Also remember to combine it with content from GPB’s STEM Central.