decomposition experiment

Discussion in 'General Education' started by stampin'teacher, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Oct 11, 2011

    So my class just started to observe bread yesterday as it molds as part of an experiment on decomposers in our ecosystem.

    A few moments ago, a child and her parent come in with a dead bird and are wondering if I can use it for our science unit. :huh:

    I definitely don't want a decomposing bird in our classroom (nor do I think I could), but I wonder if anyone has had experience with this or tried something like this. Maybe it could be something done outside in a spot away from other students that we can observe each week?

    Thoughts? I feel bad just dismissing to the child and parent without at least thinking of the possibility.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2011

    I think that sounds really gross.

    While there may be some educational value in the activity, I wouldn't enjoy it. As an animal lover, it would be upsetting in addition to yucky.
     
  4. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Maybe you could suggest that they could do this activity at home and the student could take notes on the results and report back to the class? If they are interested it would be a way to encourage their participation without having to deal with it yourself.
     
  5. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Would make a good Science Fair project for someone. However if you leave it on the ground it will likely be taken away by a carion eater unless you protect it in some way.
     
  6. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Oct 11, 2011

    After some thought, I was thinking of putting it in a shoebox with some bugs, bury it, and we can excavate it in a month and see what has happened.

    I'm all for science experiments, but it was definitely gross to see a dead bird shoved in my face early in the morning...
     
  7. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    Oct 11, 2011

    For health reasons (since dead birds carry diseases), I would not let the experiment happen at school. I would encourage them to do what another person suggested - do the experiment at home, take pics, make documentations, then report back. But I would not allow a dead bird in school.
     
  8. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Don't you usually have to wait for Thanksgiving for that? LOL
     
  9. TripleTeach

    TripleTeach Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2011

    West Nile virus is a concern where we live....I am not exactly sure how it is transmitted, but I would not want a dead bird in my classroom.
     
  10. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Yes, I think it's something that I'll have to say no to, but with the kind of parent body we have at our school, I wanted to give it some thought before vetoing a parent's idea for a possible experiment.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Uh, no. No hesitation either.

    You have to be careful with the bread experiement in class too. Lots of kids have mold allergies now.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Yuck. No.
    I would have gagged (or worse) if someone brought a dead bird into my classroom....
    You can put a pumpkin in a jar...that's a cool decomposition experiment....just open the jar every day or so to let the gases out....
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2011

    No way! I wouldn't even consider it! Not only are diseases a concern, but who knows what other road kill will be brought into the classroom in the interest of science.
     

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