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Al Rizzo ~ West High University Site Masthead - Image

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Mr. Rizzo's Class
Elk Antlers and Mr. Rizzo
Botany and Zoology
Hey everyone! It seems that you have linked up to find out what's happening with Mr. Rizzo's world of science. Well, here's the basic lowdown.
Botany is the study of plants and Zoology is the study of animals. This of course involves what I think is the really cool area of science, and that is the living world around us. This means that we get to really interact in some touchy feely activities. Plant some trees and bulbs, do labs in our outdoor class room forest, engage in dissections of cool stuff like crabs, squid,fish and even a seventy pound fetal cow; we do it all !
I was formally trained as a naturalist and marine scientist, therefore these courses are a good mix of a love for the natural world as well as an extreme appreaciation for the wonders of technical science. I also believe in the benefits of the incorporation of social and personal learning skills within the lessons that my students experience. Therefore, a cooperative learning approach is a common place event, which leads to much more lively learning experiences.
What you are viewing here is an antler rack from a massive bull elk from the American west. It was taken sometime in the early part of the 1900's and weighed an estimated 800-1000 pounds. To give you a good idea of its size, I am 6'2" and 200 pounds.
This is just one of the many wonders you may find in my classroom museum. I have whale jaw bones and vertebrae, moose heads, ostrich eggs,giant Pacific kelp, volcanic ash, the oldest rocks in the world, redwood, sail fish, raw metal ores and gems, foot long pine cones, African animal furs and much, much more. If you are in the neighborhood, stop on by room 217, and you will enjoy the visit.
My ultimate goal is to create an educated mind that is also in harmony with an emotional respect and appreciation for the planet that we inhabit. If in one day of the lives of those that I have taught, they too pass on some knowledge they have learned in my class to another, then I have truly succeeded as an educator and a naturalist. This is the responsibility of us all as adults. parents and educators. If we fail to pass the torch of knowledge, then the diminished light of life will lesson the quality of our lives.