I work at a charter, public high school in one of the lowest-performing school districts in the state of Massachusetts. The district is a place where Latina and Latino students, and other minority students, have often not been given the messages, or resources, to help them succeed. Our school is changing all of that. Our school is currently in its fifth year, and as we are growing, we are relocating to a building that will allow us to provide our students with the proper hands-on science education that everyone deserves.
Our students are actively engaged in issues of social and environmental justice, inside and outside of the classroom.
They are being pushed to be ready for college, and life, academically and emotionally. Many of our students have missed out on a quality education that would have prepared them for high school. Most students express to me that they have done little to no hands-on science. It breaks my heart to hear that, as every students deserves to explore their innate scientific curiosity. My goal is to offer them a high quality education, while being next to them when they need support.
At the beginning of the year, after reviewing the syllabus and discussing what we would be learning this year, I asked my students what they were most looking forward to in biology class. An overwhelming majority of my students said they were excited to learn about anatomy, and they were MOST excited to do a dissection. I told them that, one way or another, I would get them the supplies so they could conduct their dissections.
Dissections, although messy and time-consuming, are a wonderful way for students to learn anatomy.
It is hands on, and most importantly, it is real! Not all of my students feel comfortable conducting dissections and I will put no pressure on them to do so. Students that do not want to participate will do a virtual dissection, but the majority of my students would benefit from this project.
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