November 19, 2007

Gettin’ Squiddy With It

Posted by: Tim Stetter, Environmental Education Coordinator

Talk about having a great day at the museum!

On Friday, we hosted 37 very cool middle school students from Eton School over in Bellevue for a day of hands-on ocean science. Our focus: squid research. With scientists in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS), we explored our exhibit In Search of Giant Squid, planned research expeditions, saw real at-sea footage from an expedition up in Alaska’s Bering Sea, and dissected some of the biggest squid around!

The squid we dissected is called the Magister Armhook Squid or Berryteuthis magister. Here’s a picture, straight from the boat that caught them.

I overheard a lot of fun comments during the dissection. Notice these statements all end in an exclamation point!

“That’s awesome!”

“Don’t poke the ink sac!”

“Whoa – eggs! Now we know it’s female!”

“So all the water is polluted with squid poo? EWW!”

One of my favorite parts of the day was hearing more about the research expedition in the Bering Sea. Sandy, a UW Research Associate, showed us all amazing photos and video footage of sending the trawl out to sea, bringing in the catch, measuring squid, and some of the strange creatures they caught. That whole trip looked fun.

Lots of people helped pull off this special program. Sandy, Kirsty, John, and David from SAFS; five college students from an ecology class up at the UW’s Friday Harbor Labs; four or five parent-chaperones; a pair of teachers; and a couple educators from our Burke Education office. Let’s not forget the students: some of them just may be our future ocean researchers and educators.

So this is a call out to all the students: what did you think of the day? Anything you’d like to share with us bloggers?

- Tim

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

I had the pleasure of seeing and smelling this activity last week. It was great watching them all react to the squid!

Lots of students are commenting on the slideshow link. Just click the slideshow to read their reviews.

- Rebecca

Anonymous said...

I actually dissected one of the squid. It was pretty cool, especially since we were allowed to do whatever we wanted at the end of the class. It was very hands on and didn't smell as bad as it was fabled to be. Kinda like dead fish, but a little worse. The squid were VERY cold. It was pretty fun and i would do it again.

- An Eton student

Anonymous said...

From slide.com (click on the squid slideshow for the original comment):

This is a really cool blog site! I like the pics. It was also a really fun day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

From slide.com (click on the squid slideshow for the original comment):

This was a totaly awesome fieldtrip!!!!!! Tim, our educator was fantastic! I really want to come back!

- EVA Student

Anonymous said...

From slide.com (click on the squid slideshow for the original comment):

What a rich, rewarding day of science. The Burke educators and scientists are the BEST!

- EVA Science Teacher

Anonymous said...

From slide.com (click on the squid slideshow for the original comment):

This fieldtrip was the best in years!!!!

- Coach Doc

Anonymous said...

From slide.com (click on the squid slideshow for the original comment):

Disecting squid was awesome! I liked when the blood squirted all over the tray and camera guy. =)

- EVA Student

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