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 We started our mission with a field trip to Sea World, San Diego. The students were broken up into groups where they each focused on a specific animal. They asked questions, took notes, and did reports on their animals. When we got back, it was time to dissect specimen number one, the sea star. 

 The sea star dissection was simple, but there was one big problem. The students had more questions! They were enthusiastic and inquisitive, so that meant only one thing…more dissections!!!

 This year we ended up dissecting a total of five specimens. We dissected a sea star, a perch, a squid, a turtle, and a shark. With each dissection, the class became more and more advanced. By the end of the school year, they were able to identify all of the organ systems, their functions, as well as identify the gender and approximate age of the animal. Many students were even talking about becoming veterinarians and doctors!

 Sometimes it is a challenge to find something that motivates and captures the interest of Junior High students. Having grabbed their attention in Marine Biology was such a blessing! Together the Junior High teachers were able infuse marine life into the entire curriculum (even math!) throughout the entire year, feeding their thirst for knowledge. What a blessing it has been to see these students become excited and motivated in their pursuit of obtaining information and understanding! Some were even doing research on their own time and sharing facts with each other during lunch and recess!

 Each student not only came away with a solid understanding of the mechanics and functions of living things, but they came away with a deeper appreciation for God’s creations. They treated each specimen with the utmost respect and dignity. They learned to stop and take in the wonders and beauty of the world around us.

 At the end of the year, there was only one problem left. They wanted to know if they could dissect a human. I had to draw the line somewhere!