Recently, students in a class at Malala Elementary School were treated to a special surprise presentation on marine biology from marine biologist Kelsi Rutledge, the science consultant on the blockbuster hit movie “Nope” directed by Jordan Peele.
How did this Fort Bend ISD elementary school score such a high-profile guest lecturer? Student curiosity and initiative.
Malala student Mihika Pandit wrote an email to Rutledge after hearing her interview on National Public Radio’s show “Science Friday.” Mihika shared in the email how interesting it was to learn that the monster in “Nope,” known as “Jean Jacket,” is a combination of several sea animals, including cuttlefish, squid and octopus.
Mihika then ended her email by sharing her plans for her future:
“I want to be a marine biologist just like you when I grow up and I want to discover new species of sea creatures. I am very inspired by your work.”
Rutledge, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Los Angeles, was so touched by the message that she reached out to Fort Bend ISD to set up a surprise Zoom presentation for Mihika and her classmates, to share more about marine biology and her work as a Hollywood science consultant.
Mihika dreams of working with animals in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.