Blue Crab Relay Race Training

Kaitlyn and Kelly came up with a great way for us to get some hours.  They decided create a relay race which contained skills and knowledge needed for their research.  This by far was one of the best ideas!  I had the privilege of catching crabs and learning how to dissect but this by far was the most educational aspect of my whole experience.  I really got an understanding of the whole picture of her research.  Amazing experience!

20140705_150158  2014-07-05 16.46.45  Picture of crab flipping.

Who We Are

Erin Erben, Kaitlyn Schroeder

What We Did

The relay race training consisted of:

  • Crab catching: which meant you have to show knowledge of how to tie the fishing line around the chicken neck and appropriate use of the net so that the crab does not get away.
  • Crab flipping: crabs are timed how long it takes to flip right side up after being flipped onto their back.  This information is used to see if pesticides alter their behavior.  So not only do you battle a crab with kitchen spatulas to flip him upside down but you also have to use a stop watch correctly.  I had so much fun trying to out smart a crab to that I could flip him upside down so that they could get the time it took to flip back over.
  • Microscope:  In any lab it is important to know how to use a microscope.  I actually have not used a microscope in a long time so it was great going over all the parts and having some practice.
  • Graduated cylinder readings
  • Pipet measuring
  • Refractometer readings
  • Trivia: basic biology


What We Learned

Some of the training was a wonderful reminder of knowledge that I had (and well forgot).  It was great to hear this information in a way that I can use in the classroom.  The pipet training was really interesting since I have not used the mechanical pipets before.  Also learning the measurements like ul = microunit.  For instance 1000ul = 1 ml = 0.001 L.

Questions We Have

Did not have any questions since all skills learned were skills required for the research project.

Connections to Teaching

Will definitely use the knowledge from the relay race training in my classroom.  I will be using some of the power point given by Smee on Biology and lab basics for important scientists.  I will be more comfortable using the microscope, especially plant and animal cells.  I plan on getting samples of the different bodies of water and allowing students to calculate.  Then we can discuss why some areas are higher and why others are lower and connect to water sheds as well.