J. Technology and Education, Vol.23, No.2, pp.63-68 (2016)
Developing and testing the effectiveness of a laboratory experiment to provide visual information on homeostasis using the Pacific oyster
Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tokyo College
1220-2 Kunugida, Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0997 Japan
(Received September 15, 2016; Accepted October 20, 2016)
As part of the “basic biology” course in Japanese high school, students are taught about homeostasis. One learning component about homeostasis is that neurotransmitters regulated by the automatic nervous system change heartbeat frequency. I developed a novel laboratory experiment on this component within the framework of the “basic biology” learning unit using the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. The heart of the Pacific oyster is located in the pericardial cavity under the adductor muscle, making it easy for students to observe the heartbeat. Like in humans, the heart-beat of the Pacific oyster becomes hyperactive with the addition of adrenaline and hypoactive with the addition of acethylcholine. Thus, students may directly observe how exposure to these neurotransmitters alters the heartbeat of Pacific oysters. For teachers, this laboratory experiment is easy to manage, including the preparation and disposal of materials and the use of relatively cheap reagents and standard experimental instruments. I trialed this laboratory experiment on the Pacific oyster using second grade students of chemical science and engineering at National Institute of Technology, Tokyo College, Japan, which correspondent to second grade students in Japanese high school. As a result, I confirmed that the level of animal handling and amount of time required for this laboratory experiment is suitable for students in a 50 -minute class.
Key Word; homeostasis, laboratory experiment, neurotransmitters, Pacific oyster