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Trico

In The Name Of Science?

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Well for next Tuesdays Biology lab, we're going to be studying the circulation in fish tails. Guess who gets their tails examined? Thats right, more than like poor little common "Feeder" goldfish..

I can tell you right now this is not going to be pretty. Whats actually going to happen is taking a live goldfish out of the water, stick its tail in the scope of the microscope, and somehow magnify it and keep it still whilst observing it. All of this has to be completed while keeping the goldfish alive, and then placing it in the water so that the next class can repeat it...

We all know morons exist in the real world, so they are very much abundent at school. I shudder to think of the future horrors when I go into my class next tuesday morning.

I saw 2 fishtanks. They both had bubblers, no filters. One was a 5 gallon, and one was a 10 gallon. When you think of it, there are about 30 kids per class, and since many fish will not make it, they'll proabably be around 40 little goldfish crammed in 15 gallons of water, they have to suffice for at least 2 days so that all classes can get the oppritunity to see them.

Things like this make me sad. :( the school curriculum is so cruel and blunt. I wish we could just study diagrams and read about these types of things, but to my teacher its that you have to actually experience it and see it to actually "get" it.

Sorry for my rant, its just life is so unfair sometimes.

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From what I get from your post, you talked to the teacher? If you haven't, maybe you should. If you are sure you won't get in trouble, maybe a cruelty to animal protest is in order. Just tell them that it's a political exercise. :D j/k

Actually, a gentle persuasive talk might get your teacher to realize just how cruel this is. Probably not, but I don't see where it would hurt to talk to him/her about it. If nothing else, it might make you feel better for at least trying.

I am also against testing on rabbits, rats and mice too. I know they say it's necessary, but it just seems so mean.

I hope you can get through this. I'm on your side. :hug

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omg i would try to steal the fishie and put it in my pond! i feel sorry for the fishies.i dont think they will live :(

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Wow, that sounds like one stupid, needles exercise. I TA in an animal physiology lab and I'm very lucky in that the instructor emphasizes infliciting as little stress/pain on the animals as possible. We use goldfish, but only to measure respiration and they are generally well cared for (not as well as I'd care for them of course, but good enough :P )

I agree that talking to the teacher about the validity of such an experiment could be a good idea. To me it sounds like something that wouldn't get past the ethics board at most collages.

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http://www.worsleyschool.net/science/files...degoldfish.html

Check out this link to a pic of "goldfish skin" or scales taken with a microscope. Very cool looking and has an interesting side note! You wouldn't ever realize this if you didn't see it under high magnification.

That said, while I understand what your teacher is trying to get across, it is unfortunate that these fish will suffer. I would be stressing the importance of not keeping the fish out of water too long and on handling them properly both before AND after this assignment. Like what's going to happen to the fish when everyone has had a look??

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I agree--a well written letter or statement might make the school feel differently, especially if enough people come forward and feel this way. Explain how you feel that there is not much validity to this experiment and that it's something you can read about or study online. If you must view things under a microscope, study droplets of pond water and study the living organisms in there.

Unfortunately the sad fact is that goldfish are cheaper than it would be to buy a model or perhaps buy books or videos to study. What country do you live in? If it's the US I'm surprised to hear that you're actually using live fish as most schools no longer allow that.

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Well today, I our class did the lab. It went pretty well, asides from the overcrowding an lack of filtration... There was one group though, that once they saw that a goldfish's tail tears easily, they went and ripped off all its fins for "fun". I felt sad for the poory fish :( . I did manage to sneak one out though, I knew most of the goldfish had little to no chance, so I decided to save at least one. I snuck him into a water bottle (changing water between periods) and at the moment hes in my ten gallon cycled hospital tank with a little ammonia burns. I'll get pictures later.

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Nice work! Glad to hear at least one has a chance at a better life. You should name him Science!

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-pictures!pictures!pictures! :)

you should name it science!

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I would suggest that you write a nice informative paper about what happened in your classroom. Keep it civil and "informative" and objective. Keep it to the point - not long winded. No one wants to read a 20 opage report. A paragraph or three should be sufficiant. Point out that the fish, while "cheap", still endured a lot. Include the information about the torture of the one fish.

In general, it is best to structure the paper as such:

1. What was being done and why. (understand that you are being taught about circulatory systems and a fish's tail is a relatively benign way to see for yourself a system in a living creature). State simply and efficiantly.

2. State the problems with the presently used teaching method. Keep it straight to the point. Avoid deliberately inflamitory words - keep it simple. Tearing fins off a fish is torture. But avoid describing the kids who did it - stick to what happened to the FISH with few emotional words. Keeping it scientific and objective will go a lot further than calling it heineous or the perpetrators murderors! Mention that fish are recognised as a living creature capable of feeling injury and pain - there are laws against even shipping fish meant for the food table in inhumane conditions. To use fish to learn is fine. To use fish inhumanely and to put them in a position where they are subject to torture, injury or death is not acceptable - and would not be seen as such to most who took the time to think about it.

3. State what alternatives you see that could be used for this assignment. Perhaps having the teacher have one or two microscopes set up at the front of the room. The fish could be rotated under the microscopes so that no fish would remain out of water for more than a few minutes - and the fish that were being viewed and used were under the control of a teacher - to avoid the torture and misconduct that occured to the one fish. Perhaps having the teacher use an overhead projector for the whole class to see ONE fish - one that could be rotated out every few minutes with another. Perhaps a camera mounted on the microscope could sent the live time pictures to computer screens - one fish, one microscope, many terminals for observation. Once more - fewer fish and more control over care.

4. State what you learned from this assignment. Was there anything you learned that you could NOT have learned had it been done in a different fashion? There is a definate advantage to studying the actual living creature - but there is no advantage to putting the creature into danger while doing so. The students cannot be relied upon to treat the subjects humanely - therefore they cannot be given the responsibility for the fish's care. All it takes is one to ruin it for many. (This is the main problem in practically any public classroom. The mis-actions of one or two can ruin the learning opportunities for the many. )

When this is written up it is essential that it is given to those who are in a position to DO something about it. Give it to your teacher. Give it to the principal. Publish it in the school paper. Give it to the local newspaper. Post it on the school walls. I have done all of the above. Yes - you will find some resistance, but with the proper writing and persistance you may be able to bring about a much needed change. I wish you luck. Learning about nature and living creatures is ESSENTIAL in our education. But there is no reason that this cannot be accomplished in a humane way.

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daryl hit it over the head with the essay/petition. You have to be straight forward and make a point while maintaining composure. Follow daryl's formula and you can't go wrong, it's standard essay format, and it should go down good with teachers. It's essentially the same thing I used for my AP Literature analysis papers. Like she said, a good paper does not mean a long paper. Good luck!

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Guest pumpkin22

Oh my god, you gotta get those fishies outta there. Thats sick. The kids in your class sound just as bad. Poor goldies. :ill

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That is pretty awful.. we have laws to prevent this from happening! Everything to do with teaching and animals has to go through an ethics committee and they are not light handed! I mean we do some pretty horrible things to animals (dead of course) but they have never suffered under our hands.

I agree with Daryl, many people just don't know, or don't realise that they are 'real' live beings and need to be educated a little to what actually happened.

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