Welcome to the Veteran’s Day edition of the Friday Smorgasbord. We have a few “school” related tidbits to share along with a great overview of the mysterious depths of the oceans. Enjoy!
Talk About Peer Pressure
Schooling fish are hypnotic and many have researched the how and why behind this phenomenon. Now researchers have found most fish have a bias on which way they turn to evade predators. What this mean is the coordinated movement of fish is based on a tendency for fish to turn right more often than left or the other way around. The reasoning sounds pretty solid, having an automatic side bias may allow fish under attack to bypass the neural processes that precede the decision to escape left or right. This millisecond saved by deciding right or left, can be the difference between life and death.
[via Discover Magazine]
Fish + Students = More Learning
Project BioEYES is a program that brings live fish into K-12 classrooms to teach the fundamentals of biology. The team found it not only helps students learn, but improves their attitudes about science. The study of nearly 20,000 K-12 students, who raised zebrafish from embryos over the course of a week, found that kids at all grade levels showed significant learning gains. They also responded more positively to statements such as “I know what it’s like to be a scientist.” The results, to be published by the journal PLOS Biology, suggest that an immersive experience with a living creature can be a particularly successful strategy to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and math.
The Ocean is Deep — Really, Really Deep
The Ocean is a deep and scary world that is completely removed from most of our lives. But do we really understand how deep it really is? Most of us can’t fathom (no pun intended) just how deep our oceans are. This video is a great exploration of just how deep the water is and what happens below the surface discussing some of the strange life down there and other just plain weird and odd things about the ocean.
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Why do birds eat the plastic floating in the ocean? It is all in the smell says scientists. There is a report in the November 9 issue of Science Advances that shows plastics actually give off a chemical that some species of seabird often use to locate food.