WEST MILFORD Mr. Runnes fifth grade science classes from Maple Road traveled to West Milford High School to dissect fish with Mrs. Weiss-Magasics biology classes. Some students were so excited while others were nervous with butterflies in their stomachs.
It took about five minutes to get there and when the students arrived, there were two high school students waiting for at the front entrance. The fifth graders busted open the door and charged up the stairs and down the hall to Mrs. Weiss-Magasics classroom.
Mrs. Magasic taught everyone the lab safety rules. They were:
1. Always wear your goggles, gloves, and aprons.
2. Be careful with your dissection tools.
3. Watch out for the sharp spine on the dorsal fin of the specimen.
After that, she assigned each fifth grader to a high school partner and lab tables. All students put on their goggles, aprons, and gloves. In the lab there were a sink, a microscope, and a tank full of live goldfish at each group of lab tables. Everyone could smell the chemicals that the fish were preserved in as they walked to their lab table. The high school lab partners grabbed the perch and the students got to work.
First, the high school students taught us the parts of the fish and where to cut it. One or two people cut the fish in each group. The fifth graders took the tweezers and gently plucked off one of the fishs scales and looked at it under a microscope. One person drew a picture of the fish scale on the lab sheet. After that, each group cut open the fish and looked inside at the stomach, heart, intestines, liver, and swim bladder. Next, they cut away the operculum, examined the gills, and answered some questions.
Mrs. Weiss-Magasic took a live goldfish from the tank and put it under a microscope. Everybody got to see the blood flowing in the tail fin. It was amazing! After washing hands and removing their lab gear, the fifth graders sat down and discussed what they had learned.
A hearty thank you to everyone who made this trip possible, including Mr. Runne, Mrs. Weiss-Megasic and her students. It was a field trip the students will always remember because it was fun and exciting.
Submitted by Jennifer Nowacki, Brielle Pelissier and Amanda Russell