Axolotls are one of the most endangered amphibians in the wild. 7th grade science teacher Randy Hollinger is trying to change that.
“It makes learning real. The students take learning personally. I like the fact that the students are thinking about science when they aren’t at school because they are worried about their axolotls.
Every 7th grader at PK Yonge has his or her very own axolotl to raise. They get them as eggs and watch them grow.
7th grader Dalyn Jones says, “My axolotl gets air bubbles in it and I thought it was dead because it was flipped upside down and floating at the top, but even though it looked dead, it wasn’t. I was a little worried.”
They each get to name their axolotl, too. For most of the student, they have Aztec names for their animals. The word “axolotl” is Aztec, so many kids named their axolotl’s Aztec names.
7th grader Nick Nixon says, “It’s fun and cool, but I just don’t like the responsibility. I’m afraid I’m going to kill it.”
Unfortunately, that was happened to many people.
Josh Gebhardt axolotl died, “I felt bad because he was so small and I fed him every day, but then I got a new one.”
In the wild amphibians are dying from a fungus called Chytrid. This fungus is wiping out all amphibians in South America. Chytrid gets inside the amphibians and thickens their skin so they can’t breath. Many species of amphibians are completely extinct from it. Although many people don’t know what axolotls are, Mr. Hollinger wants to raise awareness to save the dying breed.