MEET ROZ by Erin Castellano, Science Educator


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Adventure Science Center Blog

Science Educators and guest authors exploring our world and the science and technology that connects us.



MEET ROZ by Erin Castellano, Science Educator

What’s cute and cuddly, enjoys eating treats and hiding in lab coat pockets, and used to play basketball? It’s Roz, our resident rat!

Named after Rosalind E. Franklin, an English chemist who made great contributions to our understanding of the molecular structures of DNA and RNA, Roz the rat enjoys a simple life full of apple slices and pocket snuggles. (Learn more about Rosalind on our Instagram»)

But it wasn’t always that way… she was once an all-star basketball player for the Hoop Rats!

You may be wondering how a RAT can play BASKETBALL. Well, someone trained Roz and three other smart, skilled rodents to slam-dunk basketballs at the sound of a bell or a clicker using a method called positive reinforcement, which makes it more likely that a behavior will happen again in the future. When a Hoop Rat successfully made a basket, they would receive a treat.

NBA? More like RBA!

Can you imagine watching one of these furry friends making a slam-dunk? We once had a full display of basketball-playing rats that entranced our guests, but now Roz is enjoying the retired life. She’s traded her basketball fur for a simple life full of apples and pocket snuggles.

As the only resident rat, she enjoys lots and lots of attention from the ASC staff. She’s often found rolling through the office hallways ensuring people are staying on task and providing her insight in meetings.

Next time you come to Adventure Science Center, you might get a chance to get to know her! Every so often, she’s the star of our Science Live! presentations where she gets to make all sorts of new friends. Or, if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, she enjoys welcoming all new friendly faces with a warm “squeak!”

-Erin Castellano, Science Educator

Posted by Molly Hornbuckle at 1:00 PM
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800 Fort Negley Blvd. Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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