Science teachers may be contributing to the spread of invasive species, according to a new study.
Crayfish, mosquito fish, red-eared slider turtles, and elodea are but a few of the species used in the classroom of 2,000 teachers across the country. And researchers found that 25 percent of teachers said that they release their organisms into the wild after being used in their classroom.
“Many of the teachers were mortified when we pointed out they may be exacerbating the invasive species problem," said lead researcher Sam Chan, an Oregon State University invasive species expert, "We don't want to discourage the use of live organisms in teaching because they can provide focus, enhance student interest and foster responsibility and care.
“But there are consequences to using them, and both teachers and suppliers should consider what will become of these organisms when the classroom lessons are over.”