Slugs in School
In addition to her work in the lab, University of Maine biochemist Mary Rumpho-Kennedy hopes eventually to have the funding and resources to provide classroom teachers with sea slugs and curriculum she is developing with professor Mary Tyler in the School of Biology and Ecology.
“We get requests all the time from people wanting sea slugs,” she says. “These intriguing animals serve as excellent teaching tools.”
Their website, SymBio, is filled with information for teachers to use in the classroom, including diagrams, photos and videos.
She currently is working with an advanced biology teacher at Upper Arlington High School in Ohio to provide sea slugs to use for a variety of classroom projects. The students got so excited after viewing SymBio, they decided to make class T-shirts featuring the sea slug.
Rumpho-Kennedy also allows area teachers and students to tour her lab. Younger students enjoy watching the sea slugs be sucked into the syringes (actually, turkey basters), while older students want to learn how an animal can act like a plant.