On Monday, the Adolescent students began their study of the circulatory system. Together, they dissected a pig's heart after learning about how the blood circulates through the body and is reoxygenated by the lungs.
They discussed the anatomy of the heart to identify the front and back, left and right sides. They dissected the heart laterally in order to find the four main chambers of the heart. They used blue and red straws to find the four entry and exit points of blood - using red straws for blood exiting the heart (red with oxygen) and blue straws for blood coming back into the heart (blue needing oxygenation). They pinpointed the aorta, pulmonary artery, the superior and inferior vena cavas, and the pulmonary veins. In dissecting the heart right down the middle, they were able to see the septum held together by actual heart "strings!"
What a wonderful opportunity and hands on learning experience for the adolescents. While some of them were wary and nervous about dissecting something so "gross" - by the end they were fascinated and truly enjoyed dissecting the heart in order to see how their own functions.