IB Juniors Observe Specimens from Senior Field Trip

Kaitlyn Corwin, In Depth Editor

Biology is the study of life, but for IB HL Biology teacher Tiffany Oliver, biology isn’t just the study of life, it’s a way of life.

On Tuesday, Oliver’s senior classes took a field trip out an island in the middle of Tampa Bay to test the quality, salinity, and plankton population of the water. Additionally, there were three stations set up on the island in which students were given the ability to collect fish and vertebrates, use boxes and shovels to gather invertebrates, and observe beach organisms and invasive species. The entire field trip was made possible by a grant Oliver applied for and won, which covered all costs of the trip.

Senior students, who are studying ecology right now, can greatly benefit from this sort of hands-on approach. But even Oliver’s juniors can gain something from the observations; concepts like osmosis and inter-species interactions become more tangible through these studies.

“What better way to learn biology?” Oliver remarks, carefully laying a brittle star back in a petri dish full of water. “If I could do trips like this and have real organisms every single day in the classroom, that’s exactly what I would do.”