Shannon Lee, a parent at Dunbar and a science teacher from Sonoma State University, visits Dunbar Elementary School classes a few times a year to lead hands-on science activities.

The PTO funds these lessons, which have included jellyfish dissection, owl pellet dissection, plant and animal cell studies with microscopes, forms of matter, periodic table of elements and bird skeleton zoology.

In the most recent zoology lesson, Lee discussed the idea of a “system,” then helped students to identify the different systems in our bodies (digestive, nervous, circulatory, and muscular/skeletal). Next, she had students explore the tissues found in a rotisserie chicken: muscles, ligaments, bone identification by taking the meat off of the chicken bones.

Teacher Brandy Melendy says that both Dunbar teachers and students love Lee’s lessons as they are often planned with the Next Generation Science Standards, ahead of those commonly used by the district as a whole.