On last Friday, the San Juan Nature Institute Science Director, Fiona, and marine educator, Noreen, took bubbling bowls of goldfish to the combined 3-4 class at Orcas Elementary School. The goal was to help the students understand that fish extract oxygen from the water they swim in and to see if the temperature of the water affected how effectively the fish breathe.
The working hypothesis that Fiona helped the class of 21 state was that fish would have more trouble breathing in warmer water. We scientists were working on the knowledge that warmer water can hold less dissolved O2 than cooler water.
Well, the water baths were set up and temperatures adjusted and the students worked hard to count the breaths of these little goldfish.
Lots of learning and fun was had by all.
But, it seemed from the composite data that the correlation between breathing rate and temperature was non-existent!
Back to the drawing board!
Here is a video that shows how diligently these students observed and counted!