By Lauren Cashman
Two different rooms at Homer High School have had a mild, chemical scent seeping out of them periodically throughout the last few weeks. Its origin? Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Lowe’s classrooms, where biology students have dissected and subsequently learned about the anatomical structures of fetal pigs, preserved and filled with latex.
This multi week process has allowed these biology classes to, with their lab partners, gain in depth knowledge on the physical structures of their pigs. Each of the units focus on a specific system of the animal; within these units students take apart and examine the pigs.
This process gives HHS students a unique opportunity to move away from the typical textbook oriented learning found within a Biology class and have an in depth learning experience. Senior Mallory Drover, who is currently in one of these Biology classes, said that the dissection process provided “a more vivid experience. All the work before was book work.” She also mentioned that it allowed the class to connect the 3D organs to the diagrams that they were looking at.
In addition to the pigs, HHS gave the students another dissection opportunity through Mrs. Lowe’s AP Biology class, who dissected a donated fetal moose last month. The students spent three days taking apart the animal while examining the various systems.
Sophomore Megan Gee, a member of the AP Biology class, didn’t mind the experience at all, despite the gore that was present during the moose dissection. She said “I got to look at the lungs, the alveoli and the bronchial tube.” When asked, Megan said that the opportunity enriched her anatomy experience.
Although dissections at HHS came to a close this week, the knowledge that the students gained through this interactive learning, and the hands on experience provided a unique highlight to the end of the year.