Something’s Fishy at PQ


Pequenakonck Elementary School students donned gloves and oversized shirts for a special hands-on learning experience with Dr. Mike Hibbard, the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Human Resources. Dr. Hibbard has his Ph.D. in Science Education from Cornell University and his first teaching job was in the Greenwich, Connecticut public schools.

“I’ve been doing Shark Day here at PQ for nine years,” said Dr. Hibbard, who brought in several spiny dogfish sharks for students to carefully handle during the lessons.

While some students were dubious about touching the shark bodies at first, most warmed up and were eager to work with their classmates to identify, inspect, describe the different parts of the shark, such as its seven fins, eyes, nose, mouth with teeth, and ears — yes, sharks have ears but not where you would expect them to be.  

The kindergartners collaborated and communicated with one another in small groups to figure out how the sharks perform functions such as breathing, hearing and even generating electricity to locate prey.  They used creative thinking to find connections between the structures of the sharks and themselves.