Youth-centered education and interactive programs in science are not new. But equine presenters acting as figureheads for these programs are pretty unusual. The Rutgers University Equine Science Center in New Jersey is revamping its website with an interactive, youth-oriented component to coincide with the annual Equine Science Update on Tuesday, December 8, 2009. There Lord Nelson, a a 36-year old American Quarter Horse, will guide budding scientists and horse enthusiasts in learning equine science. I wonder exactly how he is going to do this.
We are pleased to present Lord Nelson as the ‘Professor Emeritus’ for our youth-centered website component. Lord Nelson has witnessed the development of the Equine Science Center and experienced over 20 years of Rutgers University history. I cannot think of a more qualified candidate to help teach budding scientists and young horse enthusiasts about equine science.
says Dr. Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine Science Center.
Lord Nelson arrived at Rutgers University in 1978 where he worked first as a patrol horse in the university mounted police unit and later as the Scarlet Knights mascto at sporting events. Lord Nelson had quite a resume before retiring in 2000.
The online classroom will see Lord Nelson as the lead educator in interactive elements and games, though the major focus will be equine science for youth 10-13 years of age. Modules will include equine healthcare and nutrition, equine exercise and physiology, and horses and the environment. The first module in Lord Nelson’s lesson plan book will be the Scoop on Poop, a lesson about animal waste management and manure as an agricultural resource. I can just see it now: Lord Nelson chatting happily away with the aid of computer animation as he poops unselfconsciously in demonstration.
The annual Equine Science Update is open to the public for the purpose of presenting the center’s activities and initiatives, current research projects, and scientific work in advancing horse industry issues. Guests are invited to tour the Ryders Lane Farm, which includes meeting the current crop of weanlings in the Young Horse Teaching and Research Program, attending a high-speed equine treadmill demonstration, and enjoying supper at the Cook Campus Center.