Owl Pellet Dissection Lab in Action
Back in October 2021, we received an email that, while not uncommon for us, never gets old. It began, "My name is Katie Imperial, and I am a 6th grade teacher at Kingsbury Middle School in Memphis, TN. Ecosystems are a part of our curriculum. Dissecting Owl Pellets has become one of my favorite ways to help solidify their knowledge of population interactions and food webs. The kids love them every year, too."
After Katie requested pellets for her owl pellet dissection lab, she closed out her message with, "Thank you for your time and all you do for young scientists!"
Typically when we receive such an order from a teacher, we send out the shipment for their pellet lab and our communication is complete. However, that was not to be the case with Katie. Imagine our surprise when just a few months later we heard from Katie again, this time after the owl pellet dissection lab was complete.
Not only did Katie say, "We just did the owl pellets last week! It was so fun, the students had a BLAST!!" but her students also had a message to pass along about their pellet lab: "Thank you for searching the forest for the owl pellets so we could dissect them! This was one of our favorite days!"
Even better, she sent photos of her students thoroughly engaged in pellet dissection. While we can only imagine their findings as they carefully dissected their pellets and compared them to the bone sorting charts and asked and answered the owl pellet lab questions that came up during the exercise, it's easy to see that the middle school science students enjoyed this hands-on classroom dissection experiment.
People tend to think that it's the pellets themselves that make Pellets Inc. successful. There's some truth to that—without the owls and their amazing pellets, we wouldn't exist. However, the true backbone of our business has always been the teachers and educators that recognize owl pellets for the incredible teaching tool that they are and that an owl pellet dissection lab is not just science in action, but it's also pretty fun. Just ask anyone who has ever dissected an owl pellet—whether they did so a year or a decade ago, odds are they can still speak enthusiastically about pellet dissection and what they found.
By extension, it's also teachers, through their support and need for a steady supply of pellets for classroom dissection, that have helped make it possible for Pellet Inc. collectors to establish more than 1,000 barn owl nest boxes in areas west of the Mississippi River that need them, helping barn owls to thrive in a world in which the barns and silos they've traditionally called home are dwindling.
At Pellets Inc., everything is connected, from classroom education to wildlife preservation, with the overarching goal of ensuring these fascinating wild birds are understood, protected and enjoyed for generations to come. We have our own life cycle, and it very often begins with an email that says, "Hi, I'm a teacher in..." and so the cycle continues.