By Julia Bachman, First Flight High School Intern
The Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), is involved with coastal research and is committed to educating students in STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) through hands-on activities and real-world experiences both inside and outside the classroom. CSI collaborates with schools across the region to formulate science projects and lab experiences that meet North Carolina Department of Instruction’s essential standards and engage students in grades 5-12.
These programs are interdisciplinary, meaning they incorporate natural science, physical science, art, and other disciplines to create hands-on learning experiences. They are intended to encourage problem-solving and a better knowledge of the scientific process through engaging in an experiment. These experiments and projects go hand-in-hand with the education programming activities and research of CSI.
This past week, I had the opportunity to join one of the classes in a hands-on learning experience dissecting a squid and learning about their internal and external anatomy. The objective of this lesson was to be able to locate and identify internal and external features and organs of a squid, understand and apply the basic dissection techniques/terms, and critically examine the functions of several squid features, adaptations and organs.
For some students, this was a first-time experience and for some, they had done a similar process. Using the squid pen and ink sack, we wrote our names using the ink. The squid pen is actually the internal shell of a squid. Its main purpose is to primarily support the squids’ muscular tissue and organs. As many students observed the pen was flexible, which allows the squid to propel fast through the water. If a squid feels attacked, they will release an inky substance that will blind predators and prevent them from seeing clearly. This allows the squid to then swim away and escape the predator. All of the students seemed to be engaged and having fun!
Through this internship, I have been able to be a part of these lab activities and research and get real-world experience in the science field. This has been a highlight and the best dissecting experience that I have ever been a part of because I learned a lot of information on squid.
This is a way to educate students in the science field in a fun and educational way. The goal of these programs is to create projects that integrate these different subjects and will continue to grow throughout the years.