Scientific Adaptation

Camille Summers

Right before we went into quarantine “several science department members learned the appropriate way to care for the fish, what fish needs what food, what animals need what done to their tanks."

Many teachers and students have had to adapt their teaching and learning techniques due to the change from a classroom to a bedroom online. 

One of the biggest courses that had to transform their plan was the Science department. As we all know, the Science department utilizes fish, plants, cats, and other animals to teach students about science. Each class uses a variety of species to help students visualize what the teacher is explaining. 

The Science department met a couple of times virtually to share information and talk about how each teacher was doing their lessons. 

Mr. Morris, a Biology, Genetics, and Anatomy teacher, explained how the Science department was dealing with being away from the animals and plants back at Lovett. 

“In Biology, we are collaborating on an end of the year project where we are trying to get the kids to go outside more,” he said, “so it will be an effort to get away from the screens.”

Biology is typically taught to the ninth graders at Lovett. You learn about the outdoors and the human body. 

Along with Biology, Anatomy had to make a serious effort to change the teaching plan. Originally, the Anatomy class spends a semester dissecting cats and learning how they function since it is quite similar to how the human body functions. 

As a member of the class, it was different to focus on the immune system, which has been pretty cool too. We’ve learned about how diseases spread, how vaccines affect disease spread, and how isolation affects disease spread. Since we have been in a time of quarantine, it was really interesting to learn the actual science behind the measures being taken.

If you’re wondering about those dead cats, they are are still at Lovett in their cardboard boxes. Eventually, they will be dumped without fulfilling their dissection journey. 

Mr. Morris says, “When the (Anatomy) class is done, we typically have a nice send-off for the cats. We walk them down to the dumpster behind the pool at the school. We play some Sarah McLoughlin and say some nice words and any remarks people have and then throw them in the trash. That’s where the cats will end up at one point.”

Moving on to our friends in the sea and soil, he Marine Biology class typically has a large capstone project involving the fish, and the Botany classes use the greenhouse to learn about and see a variety of plants. How have these living things fared since we headed home? 
According to Mr. Morris, right before we went into quarantine “several science department members learned the appropriate way to care for the fish, what fish needs what food, what animals need what done to their tanks. At the moment, we haven’t needed to go in ourselves. Dr. Reynolds is still able to go into school if necessary to care for the fish.”

Not only have certain teachers learned how to take care of the fish and plants, but the security team at Lovett has also helped out. The team will help take care of the fish and feed them as necessary, which has helped out the Science department immensely. 

As a teacher, Mr. Morris says the hardest part about teaching virtually was finding ways to keep the students engaged. “That’s a big part of education in general, but it’s obviously easier in a classroom setting,” he says. “When it’s remote, it's a little more challenging to keep everyone on the same page.”

But, it wasn’t all the bad. The students and teachers  found ways to work around it, and are crossing their fingers for a reopening in August. 

Mr. Morris says he was incredibly impressed with how we students handled the change. “Everything we are doing is unprecedented,” he says. “There’s nothing to build off of; we’re all making it up as we go along and I think y’all have done an amazing job. I know other schools are not being as adaptable as we are; I’ve heard from other families. I think we are doing the absolute best we can, and it's a partnership. It’s teachers and students working together to get through this.”

The Lovett School is an independent, coeducational day school where children from Kindergarten through Grade 12 find the courage to explore and the drive to discover.

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