Wartburg College Professor shares unique collection with educato - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wartburg College Professor shares unique collection with educators

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One Wartburg College professor has quite the collection on campus. It's not your typical baseball card collection, instead this collection is a little creepy crawly.

Dr. Michael Bechtel is a new biology professor on campus and getting his classroom ready means moving in his collection of dozens of reptiles and amphibians. 

His collection today includes snakes, frogs, lizards and cockroaches. The 1994 Wartburg graduate started his collection in college with a ball python.

"I really get excited about finding animals that maybe are odd pairs or odd lots and finding a partner for them and getting offspring from them," said Bechtel.

While teaching at Saydel High School Bechtel would place his animals in different classrooms in the area. It's an idea he hopes to continue in Eastern Iowa.

"It doesn't make sense to go ahead and buy it if you don't want it during the summer. So in Des Moines, I had started, what I did was I actually set a teacher up with an animal and the enclosure. The only thing they had to do was feed and water," said Bechtel.

Bechtel says his high school students would then go visit animals in the classrooms and do a short presentation on them.

"Being able to set that up I think is phenomenal because that's only more exciting for the students and more exciting for the teachers," said Bechtel.

Teachers looking to borrow an animal for the school year should call Wartburg College's Biology Department at 319-352-8280 or email Bechtel at michael.bechtel@wartburg.edu. 

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