Students were hunched over microscopes, frantically writing down notes, and having excited conversations with lab partners. These students are involved in the week long BioEYES Science lab at Bryant Middle School in December.
In collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah, 7th grade students learned about the scientific process by developing a scientific question in relation to Zebrafish embryos and then determined what data they would need to collect to answer the question. Students then counted, observed and tracked the zebrafish embryos and recorded data in their science notebooks.
7th grade Science teacher, Marc Ellis, observed how engaged his students were while participating in this lab project. Ellis stated, “The most important thing that students learned was how to solve a problem using a lab experiment. The students were very excited because it’s hands-on and they get to work with live animals. The students were amazed at how rapidly they could see the embryos change.”
During the lab, students learn about embryo and tissue development by seeing how a cluster of cells in an embryo develops into organs including a heart, brain, blood, and eyes. Students also learn about genetics by receiving a normal and mutant zebrafish and exploring how the traits are passed down in a dominant or recessive inheritance pattern. Science students were also able to explore how the inherited traits and structures allowed the organisms to adapt to their environment.