March Mammal Madness at Gladstone High School

The “Final Roar” is scheduled for March 29.
March Mammal Madness bracket at Gladstone High School.
March Mammal Madness bracket at Gladstone High School.(WLUC photo)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 4:05 PM EDT
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GLADSTONE, Mich. (WLUC) - A science teacher at Gladstone High School wanted to improve the March Madness season and make it educational for her students through “March Mammal Madness.”

“It’s using data analysis and research by these animal researchers at Arizona State University to kind of pick out who is going to win when they face off in nature,” said Katrina Clausen, a science teacher at Gladstone High School.

The bracket challenge matches up several animals including a harpy eagle and a dung beetle, like a traditional March Madness bracket.

“So, there’s one seed versus 13 seed and two seed versus 12 seed and three seed versus 11 seed and so on,” said Clausen.

Students researched the animals to fill out their own brackets.

“If you didn’t really look at the animal, you wouldn’t know some certain things about it like there’s a little bird that no one thought was going to win but it turns out to have like venomous feathers,” said Calvin Thibault, a senior at Gladstone High School.

Then students made posters for the animal they thought would win it all.

“I thought the red wolf was going to win but it turns out that the red wolf is a lot smaller than like a regular gray wolf. It lost to a bigger competitor, so I am out of the bracket but it’s still fun to watch,” said Thibault.

Just like basketball, there could be upsets in the matches.

“Maybe the ghost bat is a little bit distracted by something that I season it flies off the ground of battle,” said Clausen.

Students say it’s a fun and competitive way to learn about the animals.

“They just describe the fight between the animals and stuff. It’s really cool to just keep up with and then bet with people in the class on who’s going to win,” said Thibault.

The “Final Roar” is scheduled for March 29.

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