Biology “takes care of business”

Kellen Filby, 10, weighs his pile of excrement before examining it. The experiment allowed students to get a better perspective on ecology and the digestive system. Photo by J. Nave

Kellen Filby, 10, weighs his pile of excrement before examining it. The experiment allowed students to get a better perspective on ecology and the digestive system. Photo by J. Nave

by Christian Eck

Mark Kane, science, took a trip to the zoo and procured a few buckets of animal excrement from the Sedgwick County Zoo on May 14. Later, Kane used them for a hands-on teaching tool for his biology class.

“The purpose of this experiment was to show part ecology and part digestive system,” Kane said. “For example, if you found bones you would know it was a carnivore and if there is grass, it is either an omnivore or herbivore.”

Although the experiment was used to get students out of the classroom, some students showed disgust and weren’t enthusiastic to join in.

“The thought of examining fecal matter grossed me out because of the nasty stuff we found and smelled,” Sarah Holmes, 10, said.

Some on the other hand, thought that the experiment helped them understand what was being said in the classroom.

“I may not have liked the smell or having to touch the poop, but I feel as though I learned more about the subject we are studying,” Gabi Wiens, 10, said.

In the end students were able to grasp a new subject without staying in the classroom. This interactive research allowed the students to have fun and get educated.

Kellen Filby, 10, weighs his pile of excrement before examining it. The experiment allowed students to get a better perspective on ecology and the digestive system. Photo by J. Nave