Pearls of learning

Published 6:46 pm Friday, July 19, 2019

Students continue to explore marine life


oyster dissection

In back, from left, Jason Albright, a rising 4th grader at Windsor Elementary, and Oliver Littlon of Northern Shores Elementary, participate in the oyster dissection. Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News

On Tuesday, area students participating in the Tidewater Regional Governor’s School this summer discovered another aspect of marine life: Oysters. These were the subject of the continued hands-on studies at Pioneer Elementary School in Suffolk. This was part of the “Deeper Learning” program that began last week.

Leslie Moring, executive director of the TRGS, said 60 identified rising fourth through seventh graders from Isle of Wight, Southampton, Franklin and Suffolk were invited.

As she had previously stated, “This program is important because through experimentation, observation and research, students get to work in cross-age groups to explore the technology, engineering, and arts involved in marine science. Students have the opportunity to gain real world experience and to showcase what they have learned through a culminating project.”

Leading the first session was Katia McCarter, assistant to oyster restoration for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She said the creatures are “hugely important” as each one can filter about 50 gallons of water a day. Oysters donated from 78 Virginia restaurants were taken out of large buckets and put into bags. Once tied, they would go into tanks the next year to be seeded with oyster larvae. McCarter said those oysters would eventually be go into the Lynnhaven River.

In the second session, the students got to see the inside of oysters and identify their anatomy. Again, the importance of oysters and the restoration program was emphasized.

For the third session, Heather Locklear of the CBF led discussion about the oyster gardening cage and dissection of another important fish the bay: Menhaden. The students were paired up to dissect the fish.