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The Student News Site of The Preuss School

The Preuss Insider

The Student News Site of The Preuss School

The Preuss Insider

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Preuss Marine Biologists Explore Birch Aquarium


Preuss marine biologists ventured outside the classroom walls and dove into an educational field trip at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps on Monday, September 25. Young marine enthusiasts boarded Preuss vans and drove to the aquarium in order to learn about fish life and have the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities to further their learning journey.

Ms. Ackerman, science teacher, is teaching marine biology for the first time and is aware that the Scripps Institute as well as the aquarium has connections with Preuss. When reaching out, she noticed that they were doing a fish dissection which she thought would be fun and it was also convenient as it is related to the curriculum of the class.

Arriving at the aquarium, her class went straight to their learning lab where they were given giant mackerel to dissect.

“It was really cool because as they were cutting them open and looking in their mouths, one of them was eating another fish so we found, like, the head of a fish was inside of another fish,” explained Ms. Ackerman.

While dissecting, students got to learn about all the different parts of the fish, including the fins and its internal and external structures. Additionally, Scripps disclosed to the students that the mackerel is what they used to feed many of their other sea animals.

“When we dissected the fish, we found like parasites inside, which was really cool because, like, I had never seen that before, it was just a really fun experience overall,” Amy Cruz (‘25) stated.

As a result of their visit, Ms. Ackerman hoped that students would feel more comfortable with the anatomy of the fish, as well as just be more knowledgeable about them in general. In addition, their guide, Rachel, informed them about the different body systems and their functions of a fish, comparing them to humans. Ms. Ackerman hopes to incorporate follow-up assignments into the curriculum after they visit the aquarium.

Ms. Ackerman hopes to return to the aquarium, whether it be this year or next year. She believes that by visiting, students were able to engage in hands-on activities that contributed to their knowledge and understanding of what marine biology is all about.

“I think the Birch Aquarium is awesome; they’re having this Halloween event which seems really fun and they usually have events during the night time,” Ms. Ackerman conveyed. “I really hope we get to go again.”

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