Not for the Squeamish: Salmon Dissection

Paul Romani

Hands-on Science For Pear Tree Students

Students at Pear Tree Education have taken part in their first dissection workshop as part of their salmon lifecycles project.

Young children are extremely inquisitive. Combine that with their lack of inhibitions or squeamishness, and you have the perfect age to enter the world of science.
While parents and teenagers might ‘gross out’ over the dissection shown in the pictures below (be warned), Pear Tree’s young science explorers were fascinated – and rightly so!
We all know that salmon are truly amazing creatures, but such scientific explorations reveal just how amazing they really are.
Pear Tree’ students watched how the dissection was performed, and touched (and in some cases removed) the different parts of the salmon.
What is more, they learned to identify the internal organs and special characteristics that make salmon capable of their incredible feats.
It is also perhaps the first time that these students have come face-to-face with the concept of ‘nature vs nurture’.
Although the students laughed at the small size of the salmon brain, they also realised that the salmon’s capabilities must therefore be natural. While we have to learn to do things, salmon are born with that ability.
Technology is not only an engaging way of learning, but in this case it is a necessary means. Too young to perform the dissection themselves using real knives, the students each got to try out a virtual version of a dissection both on Pear Tree’s huge SMARTboards, as well as on laptops.
So, the kids had the best of both worlds: hands-on exploration using their own natural senses, and a virtual method to practice the technique safely.

Salmon dissection workshop


Young Science Explorers


"Real scientists don't 'ew!'"


Virtual Salmon Dissection