Our Year 10's dissect hearts in their Biology class.
Our year 10's were given the opportunity to get hands on and dissect pigs hearts as part of their GCSE curriculum. This provides the students with a deeper understanding on the features of the heart that they have been learning about and also helps instruct students to the ethics in using animals in research.
The heart dissection is probably one of the most difficult dissections a student can do. One of the reasons is that the heart is not perfectly symmetrical, but it is so close that it becomes difficult to ascertain which side you are looking at. Finding the vessels is essential in being able to orientate the heart correctly and figuring out which side they are looking at.
The heart is also difficult because the fatty tissue that surrounds the heart can obscure the openings to the vessels. This means that you really must experience the heart with your hands and feel your way to find the openings. Students can be squeamish about this, and because the heart is slippery, it is easy to drop. The teacher initially demonstrates the dissection and gives guidance on the best way to handle the heart. Some just prefer to watch, and we always allow whatever level of participation the students chose to experience and feel comfortable with.
For some, this was an opportunity to get close and personal to the hearts and think we can all agree, a great learning experience for all.
Well done Year 10!