Belly Up: Death in the Duckpond

The title of this year's Brain Games is "Belly Up: Death in the Duckpond." Participating students will use bioinformatics and chemical analysis to explore the impacts of man and disease on the environment. Students will dissect real fish, take lake water samples, measure chemical concentrations, extract and identify environmental DNA and screen for invasive species. Broader issues of care for nature will also be discussed. Students should prepare ahead of time by learning fish anatomy, DNA structure and replication, basics of PCR (polymerase chain reaction), and principles of chromatography.

Freshwater Fish Species of Texas

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/water/aquaticspecies/inland.phtml

Overview of Fish Anatomy

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/education/envirothon/FISH%20ANATOMY.pdf

Overview of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

http://www.dnalc.org/resources/animations/pcr.html

"There's All this Fish DNA in the Water"

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/01/theres-all-this-fish-dna-in-the-water/283212

Cedar Hill State Park

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/cedar-hill

Disclaimer: There has NOT been a fish kill in the Southwestern Adventist University duck pond. All water testing is in the normal range for surface waters. This activity is a simulation being conducted for educational purposes only.