Island Updates

Engineers and Tinkers

Middle School Marine Biology Blog, written by Madison Maier

Middle School Marine Biology took the island by storm.  For the first half of the week, we started our days with some exploration of the rocky intertidal zone.  During that time we learned how to identify some of the more common critters and talked about their adaptations that allow them to survive in the harsh and ever-changing intertidal zone.  We then put our knowledge to the test by designing some of our own animals that are could live in the intertidal zone. 

Although Francois Jacob once described evolution as a “tinker, not an engineer” we decided to throw that concept out the window.  Many of the organisms were inspired by existing creatures (and therefore, it could be argued that they could, maybe, in some parallel universe emerge from natural selection).  But, in general, we tended to think a little larger and engineer our own original ideas that some might call “biologically improbable” (I refuse to use the word impossible, just in case I am proved wrong one day). 

Each student needed to name their creature, invent one behavioral adaptation and three physical adaptations that would allow them to live in the intertidal zone, and identify which existing intertidal creatures would be the predators and which would be the prey of the newly-designed organisms. 

On our last day, we presented our creations to a full house consisting of the staff and the Women of Water, a high school program that we were sharing the island with.  It was a rousing success. I had staff and participants coming up to me the rest of the day, complementing our work and the craftsmanship that went into each presentation.  But, I’ll let you all see for yourself.  

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