Seventh graders at Arbutus Middle School experienced anatomy hands-on in science class last week as part of an outreach program offered by the National Aquarium of Baltimore City.
Students in Lisa Stover's seventh-grade science class dissected restaurant-grade, previously frozen squid, to learn more about the anatomy of cephalopods, a class of marine animals that includes octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus.
"I think in science we sometimes wonder how things are put together and what they're made of," Stover said. "This gives them the opportunity to see something that was living and how it was put together."
The science department of Arbutus Middle School has organized the program for seventh-grade students for the past two years.
The effort is made possible by a grant from a grandfather who is on the school's PTA, Stover said.
"There are three classes that belong under the mollusk phylum," Maddalene said to the class.
Bivalves, gastropods and cephalopods comprise the mollusk phylum and squid belong to the cephalopod class, Maddalene said.
She described the interior and exterior parts of the squid, before Albright passed out the soggy squid to the students to hold and feel.
"They've been dead a while. I promise they won't hurt you," Maddalene said, as the students eyed the purple squid.
As the strange looking creatures were placed in front of the students on sheets of newspaper, some of the kids pinched their nose to protect themselves from the pungent smell. Exclamations of "Ew!" and "Gross!" was uttered across the classroom.