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5 X 25 = Body Systems/Collection Techniques
Midwest Region, May 16, 2008
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Paxton Kelley students in the lab with biologist Jeff Finley, Photo credit, Rick Hanson Columbia FO Ecological Services.
Paxton Kelley students in the lab with biologist Jeff Finley, Photo credit, Rick Hanson Columbia FO Ecological Services. - Photo Credit: n/a

Five classes of fourth graders from Paxton-Keeley Elementary rotated through two stations at Columbia National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO).  Working to teach them about fish inside and out proved to be an equation for success. 

This semester, Paxton-Keeley students have been learning about the different systems found in the Human body.  This offered the opportunity to invite the students to our lab and take a peek at the insides of fish.  We discussed and observed the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, urinary, and skeletal systems in fish and compared and contrasted them with those found in the human body.  The children were most impressed with the tiny size of a white bass brain, the two chambered still-beating heart, of an anesthetized flathead catfish and the gills and swim bladder of a shovelnose sturgeon.  To conclude the lab session they were given a quiz to test their knowledge.  They all did amazingly well retaining the information they had been taught.

Our lab is too small to crowd 25 students around a few dissection pans and microscopes.  It was also a bright sunny spring day.  Therefore, we divided each class into two groups. While one group was in the lab poking around the innards of fish, the others went outside.  Zac Beussink demonstrated entrapment gear like hoop nets and fykes.  He displayed the electrofishing boat and described how it worked.  Entanglement gear like gill and trammel nets were strung up for the kids try their hand at untangling wooden cut outs of fish. And, at last, they schooled up as select students attempted to seine up their classmates in the lawn.


Contact Info: Jeff Finley, 573 234-2132 x .171, jeff_finley@fws.gov



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