Capstone is over. I am sad and also relieved because I enjoyed working on capstone, but I am relieved because now I don’t always have to worry about capstone. Right before my presentation I was freaking out. I was SO scared even though I had practiced SO much the night before. During my presentation, so many thoughts were going through my mind, but I tried to stay focused. After my presentation was over, I was really happy because I didn’t have to be nervous anymore. On Monday, I was not sure if the kids that I presented to really understood my topic, but I hope they enjoyed my presentation. I really enjoyed showing my parents my sign, and all of my artifacts. I think that the hardest part about capstone share was that we had to present live. Ot was really hard for me because I am not a natural speaker. I referred to the answer to my main inquiry question a lot, because it gave me a lot of information. It felt very good to know that capstone is done, and that people thought that my presentation was good.
While I was presenting, I had to keep reminding myself to to look at the audience, to speak loudly and clearly, and to not say “um”, or “uh”. The night before the main share, I put all of the key points of my main inquiry question’s answer, in bold. I also put my evidence, and reasoning in italics. Here is what it looked like.
Main Inquiry Question: How does the health of fish in aquariums compare to the health of fish in coral reefs?
What I have found, is that there are many pros [good things] and many cons [bad things], to each fish habitat, and they are both good and bad habitats for fish. Overall, both habitats are good, but an aquarium has the potential to be a safe habitat for fish in some situations. Many elements of my capstone project, have led me to believe this. Some key elements to my project were my site visit and interview, in which I learned specifically about the Maritime Aquarium.
A coral reef habitat has many pros. One pro for a coral reef habitat, is that the fish are free to swim because they have unlimited space. This is good because they can get enough exercise, and not be confined to the limited space of an aquarium. Another pro is that the fish have their natural food. This is good because a fish’s natural food is what their bodies are designed to eat. My interviewer said that the fish will have their natural shelter, such as an anemone, if they are in their coral reef homes.
A coral reef habitat also has many cons. One con is that the fish could be hunted by human fishers. This is bad because if one species of fish is hunted too much, it could become endangered, or even extinct. Another con is that corals are breaking due to global warming. According to a website article on coral reef threats, if the water temperature is not right, corals break, and many fishes habitats are diminished, basically, global warming. This is bad because fish are exposed to predators if the corals break. In other words, if the corals break, the fish no longer have protection from predators.
An aquarium habitat also has many pros. One pro is that the habitat is controlled, so the aquarium workers can make sure to provide everything that the fish need. For example, aquarium workers can feed the fish every day, and prevent starvation, which could happen in a coral reef. This is good because it means that the fish are safe, and won’t get sick, or die, of starvation, or other things that can occur in a not controlled environment, such as a coral reef. Another pro is that when fish are in an aquarium, they are protected from predators. This is good because that means that they will stay alive and healthy, on the other hand, if these fish were in the wild, and the corals broke, they would not be protected.
An aquarium habitat also has many cons. One con is that the fish have limited space. This is bad because the fish won’t get enough exercise, and that could lead to a shorter lifespan for the fish. Another con is that fish in aquariums are susceptible to aquarium diseases, such as nitrate poisoning, in which a chemical called nitrate builds up in an aquarium fish tank, and even though the fish can tolerate small amounts of nitrate, large amounts, could kill them. This is bad because nitrate poisoning could kill many fish, and the aquarium would have to take even more fish from their coral reef homes,and ruin the ocean food chain.
I also learned a lot about the Maritime Aquarium, in particular, from my site visit and interview, which were both held at the Maritime Aquarium. I learned that this aquarium has good workers, or aquarists, and this aquarium does a good job of providing their fish with a safe habitat. An example of this is that their fish use anemones, just like they would in a coral reef. This tells me that the Maritime Aquarium took the time to recreate their fishes natural habitats, and is doing a good job of accommodating their fishes needs. Another example is that my interviewer said that their aquarium rescues fish that are about to die because they are brought from tropical waters and won’t survive through the cold winter, and give them food and shelter in their aquarium, instead of capturing healthy fish from coral reefs, and reducing the fish population in the ocean, which would completely throw off the ocean ecosystem, and food chain. Also, my interviewer taught me that aquariums should not capture certain fish, like the blue tang fish, because they are endangered.
Overall, all of the elements of my capstone projects have helped me find the answer to my main inquiry. For example, my web, and print based sources helped find things about coral reefs, and aquariums in general. Also, my site visit, and interview helped me learn about, and observe the Maritime Aquarium. Overall, many elements of my capstone have helped me come to the conclusion that an aquarium can be as good a habitat as a coral reef, even though most people would naturally think that a coral reef is a better habitat, but in some situations, this is not true, and an aquarium habitat can be just as good.
These key elements really helped me practice my presentation, and make it as good as it was today. For more information, you can check out my the video to my live presentation.