John, the teacher from Creative Science School let me know that his students took a vote and decided that they did indeed want to dissect a salmon. I guess in years past, when the opportunity presented itself, most of the kids opted out, leaving a presenter and a bunch of fish untouched.
So, Rod, Larry, and I headed over to the school with a cooler full of coho salmon. Most of the kids were excited although a few pulled their shirts upp over their noses as if it already smelled. It didn't. The cooler had not even been cracked open yet. John reminded them that they had voted and all had agreed to go through with the activity. Off to recess they went while we lined the desks with paper and set out the fish and activity sheets.
The students returned and donned their gloves. After a short introduction on the external anatomy, we instructed the kids to slit open the salmon's belly and following their charts, find the internal organs. We roamed the room and were available to give anyone assistance if needed.
After about 1/2 hour, we knew it was time to wrap up the activity. By then, most of the kids had found the internal organs and had begun to wander off. We all cleaned up and then sat down for a short question and answer period. A few of the funnier moments came as one boy asked if we had ever seen any other student lick a spleen. Rod answered no but added that he had seen a student eat an eyeball once. The boy then proudly pulled out his iPhone and waved proof of himself licking a spleen. Another student asked Rod if he would eat the spleen if someone gave him a million dollars. Rod replied that he would eat the whole fish for a million dollars. I think I would too.
Submitted by Donna Allard