Getting Messy with Ms. O’Frizzle
“I encourage my students to roll up their shirt sleeves and GET MESSY! Make mistakes. Ask lots of questions. Biology can be dirty business,” said Ali. “If you’re not getting messy you’re just not having fun.”
Over the past several years we noticed one person who frequently ‘liked’ and often shared our social media posts. What most caught our attention was her nom de plume, Ali O’Frizzle. Fast forward a few years when I recently asked my friend if she knew of an interesting science teacher for me to interview, “OH YES!, Ali Osgood. She goes by Ali O’Frizzle. She’s wonderful.” What?! That Ms. O’Frizzle?!
“I love following you on Facebook. I use your posts in my classroom all the time,” said Ali.
Ali grew up in a very science-oriented home. Her dad was an oceanographer who frequently took his kids to visit their grandmother at Morro Bay. “You couldn’t get me out of tidepools. I was a very lucky kid,” said Ali.
Ali obtained her undergraduate degree in Marine Biology. “I discovered I didn’t want to sit behind a desk. I wanted to turn kids onto biology. Marine Biology is my jam,” enthused Ali. Ali went on to obtain her MA in Science Education at UC Irvine.
Ali first learned of Shape of Life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Summer Teacher program. She now uses our content in her classroom. “When teaching about flatworms, I never fail to include Shape of Life’s ever popular ‘penis fencing’ content,” laughed Ali. “When we talk about hermaphrodites it opens up a whole discussion about gender identity and inclusivity.”
“I use Shape of Life’s lesson plans all the time. I also like to have my kids watch the videos and take cursive notes! Seriously. I think it’s important to integrate all subjects into science, including writing,” emphasized Ali.
“I am very excited for semester two as I will be teaching genetics and evolution, so I am looking forward to using my Shape of Life lessons for that,” said Ali.
“I am really GLAD to be back in the classroom. I have phenomenal colleagues at Salinas High School in all subjects. And, I’m so grateful to have these amazing resources to properly cultivate science process skills in my students,” shared Ali.
Coming back into the classroom is not without its unique challenges due to the last year and a half of distance learning. Ali noticed that her students have socially regressed. “My freshies act more like 7th or 8th graders so classroom management has been more of a challenge than in previous years,” said Ali.
COVID inspired Ali to focus last semester on viruses. She felt it was a great learning opportunity to point out misinformation and confusion and the value of science.
“My students are glad to have a somewhat normal schedule again. Several have commented on how challenging distance learning was because they didn't have quiet space to complete work. I’m glad I can provide them with a learning environment. Messy as it is,” chuckled Ali.