May shark dissections cause a splash

May shark dissections cause a splash

May 11-18, freshmen in biology classrooms, both honors and standard, participated in a dogfish shark dissection, taking place of a nine weeks exam. Because the students had already taken the Biology EOC, the teachers decided against taking the exam.

The teachers decided to dissect because the students were learning about the body systems, and dissection gave the students an opportunity to see the inner workings of an organism. They chose sharks to make a progression of more complex organisms. Students who went to Lawton Chiles started with a pickle, then a worm, then a frog. This allowed the students to get used to dissecting organisms.

The reactions of the students to the shark were very different: some were very excited to have this opportunity,but others felt sick from the smell of opening up the dogfish shark, and had to step away when opening the organs.

“All of my friends were dreading the dissection, but I was actually excited. It was the highlight of my day,” freshman Nathan Do said.

Freshman Josh Hobbs was “fine” when looking at the skin and fins of the shark, but when opening it, he passed out. This forced Biology teacher Angela Campbell to keep him from hitting the floor.

When dissecting the shark, the students had to measure the fins, cut into the inside and look at each organ, carefully weighing each one and looking inside. To many, their breaking point was when they opened the stomach.

“I was okay for the most part, but when I found a whole fish inside the stomach I nearly threw up,” freshman Samantha Sutch said.However, if a person were to get sick, miss class, or have to leave the class early, they would have to take the nine weeks exam as an alternative.

The dissection took up the whole class period, and all students needed to stay the full time in order to receive credit.