Elementary Schoolers Get Hands-on Aquaculture Lesson

Who needs a pet hampster in the classroom when you can have live clams?

Students at Perry Primary School are participating in a unique project to try and raise clams in a salt water aquarium.

"Last year, Ms. Hagberg and I wanted to come up with a way to improve education of science out here. Brainstorming we came up with, we decided what we'd like to do is start an aquaculture program being,” says Jack Palaio Perry Primary Special Ed. Teacher.

Because Perry is in a coastal area, teachers say they hope the kindergarten through second grade students will learn about aquaculture as an occupation and develop an appreciation for marine sea life.

"Starting out small, learning about different things that go on in our community. We think it's real important, living on the nature coast for the children to be able to experience and have hands on opportunities to see how clams grow and develop,” explains Cathy Hagberg, Perry Primary School Science teacher.

Students seem to be learning already.

"She was telling us about the clams. She put them in the water and spread them out so they wouldn't get close together,” says first grader Pallis.

If class participation on the first day is any indication, teachers won't have to worry about these little scientists "clamming" up any time soon.

The clam growing project is funded by the JB Butler Science grant.

The clams were donated by the University of Florida.