Tag Archives: pig heart

Energy, Matter, and Organization: Dissection Lab

Today marked the first day of dissections (thanks to our DonorsChoose grant award!), with students working in teams of three to dissect a cow eye and a pig heart.  Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  Students who were apprehensive at first quickly engaged with the hands-on lab.  Many were surprised at how different the organs were compared with the stylized pictures they had seen in textbooks.  I was very impressed with how respectfully students treated the organs.  The dissections were performed with care and clear attention to detail.  Many students were able to trace the flow of blood through the heart.  Students who dissected the eye noted the beautiful blue coloration of the cow eye retina, and may students were surprised by the onion-like structure and marble-like consistency of the lens.  The hardness of opacity of the lens are due to the dissection materials being stored in a chemical fixative.  Exploratorium has a guide available for the dissection of fresh cow eyes for students feeling inspired to connect with their local butcher.

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Update: 1/27/16

Students dissected frogs and sheep brains today:

For the final 20 minutes of class, we reviewed critical course content in preparation for the Unit 2 Exam scheduled for tomorrow.  White board notes are shown below:

Energy, Matter, and Organization: Dissection Lab Prep

For our entry task today, students assembled into their dissection groups, quickly assigned each other a number (1, 2, or 3) and then were assigned every third question on the worksheet (page 1 only).  The entry task video is below and helps connect the work we have completed this far in Unit 1 (cells and organelles) and Unit 2 (body systems), with a preview of what is to come.

Dissections have arrived!  We will begin by review the contents of the dissection kit each team will use, and we will review the safety precautions for conducting the lab.  Next, students will assemble into three-person teams and determine who will take the lead for dissection the cow eye, pig heart, and frog.  In addition, two teams will also receive a sheep brain.  As preparation for the dissections, students will use the Chromebooks to watch their assigned how-to video (below) and carefully take notes:

Cow Eye Dissection:

Pig Heart Dissection:

Frog Dissection:

Sheep Brain Dissection: