The School Project
Discovering and exploring the wonders of nature - with shells in hands.

In July 2015, we had the idea of taking seashells to schools and share our fascination for them with students of all ages. The initial plan was to create a poster, take some selected shells and cards with information about them, and donate these packages to schools nationwide in the USA. The target were mainly 5 to 6 graders, the thought behind it is to have the kids fondle the shells, learn about shells, the animals that created them, their environments, and discuss threats and how all of us can contribute to their their protection and conservation.

Seven years have passed since, and the project is well on the way, run by our collaborator Lou Rundo from Ohio. Lou is preparing the collections, cards, and a classification lab instruction, example work products and other ressources for teachers and students. The feedback from teachers is very positive and the Molluscan Science Foundation is proud to have this project in place, with an impact on the educational experiences and outcomes of many students.

More about Molluscs and the project...

To apply for a set of shells and accompanying material, contact Lou Rundo lourundo[at]gmail.com


Good Morning Dr. Mont, Lou, and the rest of the Molluscan Science Foundation team.
I wanted to take a moment and thank you for the learning opportunity you provided the zoology students at William Chrisman High School in Independence, MO. The mollusk shells you gave us provided a fun introduction for the students into the world of mollusks. The students were challenged to either make a catalog, dichotomous key, or a phylogeny to present to you all. The challenge in this came from the students only having access to the materials provided in the box (the cards and the shells) no other identification guides were given. This project required them to utilize research, critical thinking, and creativity to create their projects.

Attached you will find many of the projects, testimonials from the students, and pictures of the students interacting with the materials you gave us. If anything isn't working, please let me know.

This project was wonderful and the resources you have added to my classroom are amazing, thank you so much. If you have any other shells you are looking to rehome they are welcome in my classroom. I am looking to expand this learning opportunity for future sections of my zoology class, so if you know of any good places to get shells from, I would love to know about that.
(Alex B.)
 The shells we were given from you guys were awesome. I loved the diversity of the shells and
being able to learn/see them with my own hands. There are some shells I didn’t even know existed.
Wildlife has always been an interest of mine and mollusks so happen to be one of my favorite types of animals. So unique and alien-like to me, but having this chance was great and I am extremely grateful for this foundation.
P.S. I am an artist and would like to draw a shell to return the favor of you guys sending my class some! I would absolutely love to if you guys don’t mind. I can email some of my work as well if curious.
(Garry M.)
  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to look at and learn about all of these cool shells.
Learning about the shells you guys sent gave me prior knowledge about shells when we started our "Phylum Mollusca" unit in class. 
(Amrie B.)
My name is Riley B. and I am a part of Mr. B.’s zoology class. I wanted to let you know that I
appreciate the shells so much. My favorite shell is the textile cone! I can't wait to learn more about
mollusks! Thank you so much!

Thank you Molluscan Science Foundation for giving me and my classmates the opportunity to use 21 shells and learn many different things about them. I think it was really fun learning where they can be found, their shapes, and why they're important. I thought it was very interesting that there are so many and how some are alike and others are completely different. This was an exciting activity and I would definitely recommend learning about shells to other students. (Connor M.)
Thank you for sending our class a box of shells to be able to learn and comprehend Mollusca, I'm now able to identify different types and function of each one. This is going to pursue an education and hopefully because a member of your foundation. From: A future Molluscan scientist.
(Carllie S.)
Thank you for the opportunity to get to know things about all these different types of shells. I learned a lot. Left handed shells are more rare compared to right handed shells. Vampire shells live up to their name too. Thank you for helping further our learning. (Aunnesty D.)
I wanted to express my gratitude for the shells you provided and how they helped us
learn about mollusks it was an amazing experience working with the shells I appreciate the opportunity.
(Gilbert G.)
Thank you for providing shells for our studies and research projects! It was a great opportunity to get some hands-on learning and examinations. It was really cool to get to experience the mollusks we are learning about up close. The informational cards that came with the shells were also a great addition. It definitely helped me improve my research and better my understanding on the life of these animals.  (Lily M.)
Thank you for allowing us to use the shells  for a long period of time we were allowed to do a lot of fun
activity with the shells thank you.
(Kei Sean D.)
 Thank you for giving my class the chance to look at the shells and learning about the different
types of mollusks. I really hope you give the next class the same chance that I had. My group and I liked making a dichotomous key with the shells.
(John H.)
I just wanted to say thank you for the great opportunity of working with these lovely shells!! They were beautiful and a really fun project overall!! My favorite part was being able to take photos of the mollusks!! (Andrew J-M)
I wanted to start off this letter letting you know how much I appreciated the opportunity that you have given us with the mollusks. I learned so much from getting to do my own research on the subjects as opposed to the alternative of someone telling me what they think I should know. There were times that gathering information on some of the more obscure species showed more difficulty than others. However, I had a lot of fun making the assignment and learned a lot. (Liam K.)
My peers and I would like to thank you all very much for the opportunity to revise and observe the shells donated to us to get hands-on first hand experience with the mollusk! We had a lot of fun learning and retaining the information that or went further into depth to know more because they were just so captivating! (Mariela)
Thank you for providing those shells and allowing us to learn about the types of Mollusks and their
habitats and just everything about them. It was nice to be able to get hands-on experience while
working with them and getting to feel the different textures of each shell. It also helped to better
understand why the shells were shaped the way they were and what it helped that certain Mollusk with.
(Avery M.)
Thank you very much for letting us use the shells. I learned quite a lot. I never thought that there would be purple snails just floating in the ocean and vampire snails... wow they really do live up to the name. The shells that you donated gave us a very clear visual of what they look like.  I appreciate the help that you brought me. (Paul S.)
Dear Molluscan Individuals,  
Thank you for giving us an opportunity to learn about all the mollusks you have given us, we
appreciated learning about all 21 mollusks you have given up, we hope we get to have more in the later future so we can learn more about each different mollusk.
(Remy F.)
Thank you for this opportunity you have given us to work together on this project. We have learned a lot about these mollusks. I enjoyed getting to work for your company as a client-based project I like
having real live work in school.
(Blake S.) 
I want to say thank you for the opportunity to learn about these shells and to learn their history about themes I really appreciated doing this because I love learning new things I didn't know about shells.
(Kyla D.)
Thank you for the opportunity to learn about all of these different types of shells. It has been very cool and interesting to learn about it and glad that we had the chance to do it.
(Ashton S.)
I wanted to take the time to thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this project for you all.
I had so much fun learning new things about mollusk and getting with my group to put it all together. I hope you enjoyed our show as much as we enjoyed making it. 
(Rajai L.)
I would like to thank you all at the foundation for the opportunity of learning more about Molluscs
and having the chance to do a hands-on experience. Doing this educational project with Molluscs
helped me know more about the different types of shells and their scientific names. Once again, thank you for the learning opportunity and for granting others the chance to learn about Molluscans. 
(Taj S.)
Thank you for letting us use the shells. By allowing us to use them I learned a lot of new things about how shells are found and all the interesting things the animals did with the shells. Also it allowed me to use different skills to identify the shells and learn about them. (Trey T.)
Thank you for letting us use your shells for a class project. This experience has taught me many things about mollusks.
(Micky M.)

Thank you so much for sending me the kit with the phylum molluska seashells. I used them in class today to help teach my students about taxonomy and the 7 levels of Linnaean Classification. They really loved identifying each organism and talking about what they have in common. I will continue to bring them up as I specify more about each of these levels. 

Please let me know if you have any other kits you can share with me to enhance my science teaching this year! I love having them identify and write their observations about interesting organisms in my life science class!

Here is a picture of them holding the specimens you sent me last year!


Compiled by Dr. Felix Lorenz and Louie Rundo © Molluscan Science Foundation 2020