Student Comments

Student Letters from the 3rd Grade, Diver for a Day Project

CLICK on icons below to view a PDF of each student letter

CLICK HERE for more information about this 3rd Grade Project.


Student Comments for the Invasive Mussel Project Lab, FHHS Biology Class

The lab was so fun! I love the hands on experience with the lab. Actually doing the work is so much better than just looking at the book, I felt like a real scientist!

I thought using the micropipette was fun also making the gel. Seeing the results was cool too.

I liked micropipetting and it was fun to see all the stages DNA goes through to see its origins.

I thought it ws an amazing lab. Getting to do this "wet" lab with all of the tools and chemicals has been awesome and I can't wait for the next one.

I really had fun in the lab. The flowcharts helped me organize for the day ahead so I was really prepared. It was fun to succeed at our real-life science project.

Greatest Lab Ev Ar! No, seriously, I did enjoy it. I felt like a scientist using these crazy cool micropipettes and learned a lot.

I really enjoyed this lab it allowed us to use cool tools, while learning and having the data used in an actual study.

I had a lot of fun doing this lab. I hope more like this are soon to follow.

I liked this lab; I liked learning how to do a gel electrophoresis and about PCR. It was fun to work together, and really have a meaning for the whole thing.

I really like this project. I thought it was cool how we got to use a real life situation and do research on it. I aslo really liked how we were able to use professional equipment. I found this very interesting because someone actually has to do this for a job, and they have to use the data we found to control the mussel population. The data we collected is actually being used for ongoing reserach, which makes what we are doing real, and we have to be serious about doing it.

I enjoyed the hands on activities; it was more interesting than watching a slide show. I feel that I learned a lot through this lab.

I found the lab interesting and enjoyed learning how to make copies of the DNA. I like that our results are going to be used.

I loved that there was so much hands-on time; using the micropipettes and all the other instruments.

It’s exciting to be part of an experiment where our own research can actually help marine biologists in the field.


Student Comments for the Electrophoresis Exploration Lab, FHHS Chemistry Class

I had a great time learning and acting scientific this week. I enjoyed having a fun and complicated lab to do.

I really enjoyed this week's lab, it made me curious about jobs that involve electrophoresis. I especially enjoyed working with the gel and the gel boxes.

It was interesting and fun using all of the equipment; experimenting with the different dyes and watching them move through the gels was really cool.

I had fun working hands-on with new equipment; it made it more interesting and fun to learn. Thank You!


CLICK HERE for more information about the Invasive Mussel Project and the Electrophoresis Exploration Lab.


Teacher Comments

Thanks for the opportunity to share one small example of student feedback about the K-12 Labs program.

In second grade we study our local marine mammals and their ecosystem, including a trip to The Whale Museum and to Whale Watch Park. Students recognized several organisms in the intertidal display at the park, from their work on “Plant or Animal?”. The naturalist at the display asked the children about each organism. “That’s an animal! I know it from when we watched it react in our classroom!” shouted a boy when looking at the gumboot chiton. “Plants can’t react and rocks can’t move,” he explained. They were able to apply what they had learned about plants and animals to other animals in the display and were eager to share what they knew from their hands-on experiences with the Labs program.

Thank you!

Deslie English
Second Grade Teacher

Everything has been outstanding! They are inspired by all of you. For many, it is what captures their interest in learning during 3rd grade. They also get a feel for real scientific work while doing the clam dig. Most now want to become divers, or at least try it out after the RV Centennial trip. They all have a better understanding of the marine life in our waters and the need to protect all the organisms. Your program is truly a highlight in 3rd grade. Thank you so much.

Darlene Clarke
3rd Grade Teacher


The 4th grade at FHES has had the wonderful opportunity to take advantage of this outstanding marine science outreach program. Over the years we have been able to align the outreach program’s resources with required science learning that has enriched our investigation to greater levels. The resources the outreach program can offer adds greatly to daily classroom learning which enables deeper and more exciting scientific investigations. The outreach program provides children with experiences to see, touch and observe live organisms, use scientific equipment not regular to basic classroom science kits, and it gets the children out in the field to make connections with classroom learning and become stewards of our special environment. We teachers feel incredibly lucky and very thankful to have a community resource such as this to help develop life- long curiosities and learners.

We truly thank you for all the support over the years!
Kim Warin and Andy Duke


The hands on experiences that the FHLSOP provides are truly a highlight in the 6th grade science curriculum! The beach trips and interactions with the Zoobot students and researchers enhance and bring to life our marine studies unit! The FHLSOP provides students with ultimate experiences to learn and get excited about marine biology...students learn by seeing, touching and experiencing organisms and their habitats first hand while also gaining a respect for the diversity of organisms found in our local marine environment. I could go on and on and on and sing praises of the program!

Returning from our most recent rocky shores trip I asked a 6th grade student about their experience, our conversation went something like this:
Ms.S: "What did you think about the rocky shores trip?"
Student: "The trip was AMAZING, the BEST ever! But there was only one part that I did not like." (said with a bit of disappointment)
Ms. S: "What part was that?" (a bit confused, after hearing such an excited response)
Student: "The end." (said sadly)
Ms. S: "What do mean, you just said it was the best trip ever?!" (seeking more info)
Student: "The ONLY part I did not like was the end, when we had to leave. I could have stayed and explored the beach forever, I did not want to leave!" (Thrilled by the experience, yet could have stayed ALL afternoon!)
Coming from a 12 year old boy, I found this to be precious and his response also tells of the level of engagement that such hands-on experiences provide!!

Lisa Salisbury
6th Grade Math & Science Teacher
Friday Harbor Elementary School
San Juan Island School District

The kids really enjoyed the DNA extraction lab again this year. The proud looks on their faces when sharing their DNA with their other teachers or peers, the “wow, this is so cool!”, and the comments from parents about what a neat opportunity this was for their student, all point to this being a successful activity. Along with all of that, it is such a great tie to the 7th grade curriculum and extends their learning beyond what I could do in a normal classroom setting. Thank you so much for making this happen!

Darrin Scheffer
FHMS Science Teacher
The FHLSOP has made so many valuable experiences available for middle and high school science students over the past, I can’t believe it, ten years. Explorations in the classroom around genetics have real world applications with invasive species issues. Results from trips to the field for water quality monitoring impact the residents of San Juan Island. Exposure to the marine realm that surrounds us builds an appreciation in even the youngest of the K-12 participants.

As a science teacher within the San Juan Island School District, I want to thank the generous donors, the Friday Harbor Labs, and the school district for making this outreach program possible. Without the program, our students would not be able to learn these vital lessons about our precious and unique environment.

Marc Vermeire
Science Faculty
Friday Harbor High School