Students get up close and personal with sharks

Students get up close and personal with sharks
Instructors from the Gulf Coast Research Lab were there to teach the children about sharks. (Photo source: WLOX)
Instructors from the Gulf Coast Research Lab were there to teach the children about sharks. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Wednesday, at Bel Aire Elementary School in Gulfport, reading and math were not on the lesson plan for the gifted class. Instead, the students got up close and personal with sharks. Because of what they learned, some may find themselves working one day as marine biologists.

The students learned a lot about sharks. They can smell blood from a mile away. What else did they learn? Gabriella Anciro had an answer.

"I learned that sharks have seven senses, and we have only five, and I thought that was really cool," Gabriella said.

That word was used a lot by the students, including Jacen Katt.

"I liked the sharks and all that cool stuff, because I love sharks, and they are my favorite sea animal," Jacen said.

With dissection comes new knowledge about the inner workings of sharks for student Tyonna Turner.

"At first, I thought it was scary, but as the experience got through, I thought it was a lot of fun," Tyonna explained.

While the children certainly had an interesting time in this very special class, the instructors from the Gulf Coast Research Lab probably had just as much fun. Jessi James was one of them.

"It just really shows them what's out there in the ocean. They don't really get to see that on a normal basis, so we're kind of bringing it into the classroom so they get a really well-rounded experience on marine biology," James explained.

Marine biology does have its moments though for Gabriella.

"I thought it was really disgusting and smelly, but was it fun," Gabriella said.

"It started out gross, but in the end, it was not as gross as I thought it would be," said Tyonna.

Two classes were conducted Wednesday, one for the younger students and another for fifth and sixth graders.

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