"A chance for elementary school students to win a laptop computer, a pizza party and a field trip to The Springs Preserve?
It’s all part of a cleverly disguised education program designed to teach young people to Respect, Protect and Enjoy the Mojave Desert.
The “Mojave Max Desert Tortoise Education Program” is a partnership between Clark County’s Desert Conservation program, an organization called Get Outdoors Nevada, The Springs Preserve, and the Clark County School District.
The program includes visits to 14 schools around the valley where speakers, including 8NewsNow’s Nate Tannenbaum, provide fun lessons in how humans and tortoises share the same spot on earth (the Mojave Desert) while living very different lives. With desert tortoises listed as a threatened species, we’re all encouraged to do our part to keep the creatures around.
This year’s assembly program kicked off Tuesday at Vail Pittman Elementary. Nate gave the students and one of the teachers a shout-out on the news this morning.
Just like their mammal friends around the world, reptiles like the desert tortoise spend winter months napping. Instead of “hibernation” reptiles go into what scientists call “brumation.”
The Mojave Max program includes an “Emergence Contest” where students are encouraged to make educated guesses as to the exact date and time that Max will wake up (or “emerge”) from his burrow at The Springs Preserve. The student who comes closest to the actual date and time of Max’s emergence wins prizes for themselves and their class.
Any student in kindergarten through 5th grade can take part in the contest. The contest only closes when Max emerges from his burrow, which usually happens in February, March or April." (KLAS)