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Sea Monsters and Narwhal Tusks: Thanks to My Academy Teacher

May 1, 2018

by Benjamin Snookal, Academy Student

Four years ago, I took my first class at IEA’s Academy. It was a film making class and I created a Lego film titled “Night of the Living Vacuum.” Since then I’ve done chemistry experiments, learned to meditate and built a Rube Goldberg machine in IEA’s various locations.

But of all the classes I’ve taken and all the instructors I’ve had, Grayson Kent and his classes really stand out. I remember his first paleontology class where I discovered we both loved reptiles and dinosaurs. Grayson is a great teacher not only because he makes the information really engaging, but also because he is so supportive of students.

Grayson’s classes are interesting and fun. He doesn’t only lecture to us. We do a lot of activities, like in our Marine Biodiversity class when we made our own sea monsters and marine species. And we watch nature documentaries together, like National Geographic. He brings out lots of fossils every class, whether it be boney fish, whale baleen or even a narwhal tusk (it was a replica) and they never cease to amaze. He even sometimes brings in live specimens for us to check out or sometimes taxidermy, like a shark or a small mammal. It’s always cool. And he tells awesome stories that make the class more exciting and interesting, such as the story of a man who was diving of the coast of an island and an elephant seal came up to him and engulfed his head in its mouth! The seal let go and the diver was unharmed.

The best part about Grayson’s classes is that he treats me and his other students like equals. His class is like a conversation and not just Grayson telling us things. He is very helpful with whatever you need and he will always hear your ideas and answer your questions without making you feel like it was silly. We both keep reptiles, and when I lost my beloved pet Bearded Dragon, he talked to me about losing his Tegu and has been very kind and supportive of me.

Grayson is a good teacher and very encouraging, but he’s also funny and makes us laugh! When we were filling out the IEA surveys for Marine Biodiversity he told us, “This is the opportunity you all get to say how much you hate me and want to get me fired!” Of course, I would NEVER want that to happen.

Would your child enjoy a summer of learning with a teacher like Grayson? Register today to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount!

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IEA Staff

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