Interview With Richard Wojt

From the interview with Richard Wojt of Port Townsend conducted by Wendy Los at the Fort Worden History Center on October 26, 2004. Mr. Wojt was a science teacher at the Fort Worden Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center from 1961 to 1964. Here he discusses some of the methods he used to get the residents interested in learning:

“We built a big aquarium in the classroom and we’d pick up samples on the beach, on inclement days we could make observations of what was going on in the aquarium. I had a great big cage where we kept white rats and we taught the rats to do all kinds of things. The kids enjoyed that. We had birthing and the mother rats would teach the baby rats how to use the trapezes… They followed their mothers and saw how their mothers were getting food. One rat I remember got injured so she couldn’t climb any more. The habit of the other rats was to go up, go across, pick up the piece of food, (and) come all the way down. She would wait at the pole down there and as they were coming down, they were hanging onto the pole. She would grab the food and instead of fighting her for it, they just turned around and went out and got another piece. I guess you could come to the conclusion that (they were bringing it for her).”

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