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The Environmental Education (often shortened to Environmental Ed) room is located on the third floor, and is lined with animals of all types. The class’s teacher, Jim Lockard, spends his days caring for the many animals that now inhabit room 301 Students around East that choose to take the class spend the semester learning specifics about an one type of animal. They then spend the rest of their time educating young kids about their exotic little friends.
“We have students from elementary schools almost every block day,” Lockard says. “It’s pretty much the second year students that take care of them during the school week, but I usually come in on the weekends to take care of them.”
The students here at East are given the opportunity to work with animals they have never even heard of, and become experts in naming plants and knowing which are poisonous or not.
Reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds all make for a loud chaotic classroom, but Junior Luca Perdomo likes the sound and energy.
“It can get loud but it makes the class more interesting,” Perdomo said. “There is always something to look at that you’ve never noticed before.”
It’s our own little space past the hustle and bustle of Shawnee Mission East.