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is the fish dead

Is the fish dead?

If so, how did it die?  

How can we use the microscope to check to see if the fish is dead?

Look at the battery.  Look at the cables going into the water. 

Is there another explanation?



Are the cables connected to the battery? 

Put the fish on a slide, look at its tail through the microscope.

Notice that there is some gauze on the table.  Discuss.



Copyright 2011 by Dr. Abraham S. Fischler.              

Dr. Fischler tells how he got his teacher's certification in New York State.   The exam requires the applicant to teach a 45-minute lesson to a group of students.
Fischler walked in the room before the kids entered the room, saw that the curriculum aimed to teach students to "suspend judgment" and used a fish in the classroom's aquarium to set up a false impression.   He put battery cables into the water with the other end of the cables placed under a car battery (suggesting to the casual visitor that the cables were connected to the battery).  He caught the fish, used a chemical to anesthetize the fish (so that the fish appeared to be dead) and returned the fish to the aquarium.
The students entered and one of them noticed the dead fish.  "He killed our fish!" 
"How can we test that assumption?"  fischler asked, moving over to the classroom's microscope.  He put the fish on a slide, positioned the tail uder the lens of the microscope and invited students to look at the blood flowing in the fish's tail.  "Is the fish dead?"
After students thought about that point for a while, he shook the fish awake and put it back in the aquarium.  It swam around.
The examiners were stunned.  "What was the point of putting the children through such a shock?"
Oh, well.

as told by Dr. A. S. Fischler in 2011.

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