Belleville Middle School students are finding organisms “all around us,” according to Principal Dana Cavallo.
The middle school’s Science Department always looks toward the future and keeps the students on the cutting edge, according to Cavallo.
Recently, grade eight students learned a lesson in organism reproduction.
The students looked at pictures of a wide variety of organisms and how they reproduce, officials said.
“It was amazing to see what specimens can be found locally just by knowing what to look for,” Cavallo said.
Incorporating the new state core curriculum is an important part of every middle school course, so the science teachers have the students reading and writing every day, officials said.
A major underlying theme of the middle school science curriculum is that science is not only in books, but all around right in Belleville, according to officials.
One example from the lesson on organism reproduction was a puffball.
The puffball in the students’ book was found growing right in the school parking lot the previous Wednesday, officials said.
After the rain and cool nights, the conditions were perfect for fungus, officials said.
The teachers and students took a very short field trip outside of the building and identified the fungus as a common Earthball or Scleroderma citrinum.
The metric system and measuring was just reviewed, so the students learned the specimens are usually two to four inches or five to 10 centimeters across, officials said.
Students are also learning how to use a field guide and scientific classification.
They were able to observe the field guide and all the pictures of the puffballs by using the document camera attached to the computer board in the science classroom, officials said.