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Perfect Pearl, The

Ideas from Teachers

(Gr. 6-8)
I really liked the way that the relationship between science and the real world was demonstrated in NOVA's "The Perfect Pearl" program. Too often, people (especially students) fail to see that what is done in a laboratory is applicable to the outside world. I also liked the comparison between those "pearl farmers" that only cared about the end product with those that were trying to be more ecologically sensitive. It will lead to a nice discussion about ends justifying means.

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Catherine Atria
Oak View Middle School
Newberry, FL

(Gr. 8)
I enjoyed NOVA's "The Perfect Pearl" program thoroughly. It was fascinating to learn the history of pearling and to see how it works today. It is a great melding of science and the economy and how science is driven by economics. As far as fitting into our 8th grade curriculum, I can see a natural connection showing the sections dealing with the water quality and how that affects the oysters when we are studying the pollution unit. Since we are in land-locked Midwest, none of my kids will have a clue about how pearls are produced and how that industry can be affected by pollution.

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Nancy Nega
Churchville Junior High School
Elmhurst, IL

(Gr. 9-12)
I really enjoyed NOVA's "The Perfect Pearl" program. I teach high school students and really look forward to the higher level information that this program discusses. I appreciate the science mixed in with real life and economics. It is important for our students to realize the implications of one part of our food chain on every other living organism. Also many biology themes were present in this program—structure and function—the making of the pearl by the oysters, size of the oyster allowing a bigger nucleus; evolution—both of the industry, waters, and oysters themselves; science and society, technology; the list goes on. I feel that if the teacher focuses the students in the right direction, this program will leave everyone with a well-rounded approach to science. I would show short segments and interact with many questions to pose.

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Suzanne Asaturian
Carbondale Community High School
Carbondale, IL

Teacher's Guide
Perfect Pearl, The

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