Pelham Park Middle School welcomes Dynamic Education Adventures

Published 10:17 am Monday, November 28, 2022

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

 PELHAM – Pelham Park Middle School featured many critters to its students on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The educational travel group Dynamic Education Adventures came to the middle school to display a hissing cockroach, a frog, a yellow-bellied slider, African ball python and a red-footed tortoise.

“We also got to meet a three-legged bearded dragon named Daisey,” a Pelham Park Middle School Facebook post read. “She was rescued from a bad living situation and the Science Lady adopted her, and she just recently started making appearances at shows.”

Daisey, the bearded dragon is a new addition to the Dynamic Education Adventures who came from Wisconsin and was given the nickname “Blackbeard.”

“She is settling into her new home and will soon be ready for shows,” a Dynamic Education Adventures Facebook post read. “Blackbeard had a tough start and ended up with a giant mass on one of her legs. The leg had to be amputated. All this was made possible by Reptile Rapture. They take in reptiles, bring them back to health and find them good homes. So glad to have this beautiful beardie.”

Jan Mattingly is the owner of Dyanmic Education Adventures and referred to as “The Science Lady” by many.

“My mission is to make learning an adventure,” Mattingly said. “I try to present, fun engaging shows that get kids excited about science.”

Mattingly said she enjoyed her experience at Pelham Park Middle School and will return to the school in 2023.

“I thought the event was great,” Mattingly said. “It has become a tradition that I visit the seventh grade the Friday before Thanksgiving for a live animal show. Then the Monday after Thanksgiving, I see the sixth grade for a Science of Sports show. I’m then back again in March for a Science of Sound show for eighth grade.”

Mattingly started Dynamic Education Adventures 10 years ago and said she has always had a passion for developing programs that make science accessible.

“The kids were definitely excited about the animals, they particularly loved the african ball python, Beauregard,” Mattingly said. “They also loved the pixie frog and bearded dragon. I am particularly interested in giving kids the opportunity to meet different animals and understand that all animals deserve our respect. I saw my first science show at a public library when I was about six years old and always knew that I wanted to make that my career. I love that life’s circumstances helped to make that childhood dream a reality.”

Reptile Rapture is a pet facility that also serves as a living museum and can be visited online or in person.

Reptile Rapture carries a variety of breeds such as colubrids, boas, pythons, monitors, lizards, turtles, tortoises, amphibians and invertebrates.

Mattingly said seeing kids interact with the animals for the first time “never gets old.”

“Watching the kids face their fears and hold a snake for the first time, the look of fear usually turns to a look of pure joy,” Mattingly said. “I love the sense of accomplishment they must feel about doing that.”

Mattingly made sure to reiterate how welcoming the staff and all involved at Pelham Park Middle School were.

“I do want to add how wonderful it is that the school’s librarian, April Wallace works so closely with the science teachers to bring this event to the school annually,” Mattingly said.  “The staff at PPMS are really a great group of people.”

More information on Dynamic Education Adventures can be found at