My students need 5 cow hearts and 4 dissection trays for an exploratory lab to learn about the structure of the heart.
I teach one Anatomy & Physiology class of talented juniors and seniors from our Science Institute. Our school is a low-income public school in an urban school district. Our school is the only all-girls' public school in the city, and we focus relentlessly on college rigor and ultimately the college application process. All courses are taught at college-level rigor, and our school employs a college-bound counselor who works specifically with juniors and seniors to ensure they have an opportunity to attend college. Last year, we had the highest college attendance rate in the city!
At our school, students working within the "Science Institute" may choose elective science courses once they have finished all science requirements. My students are incredibly talented, but it's very difficult to challenge talented science students in a school with very limited resources. The door to the world of science and technology is typically closed and locked to inner-city students. The cost of purchasing laboratory materials and perishable supplies is more than any school in our financial situation can afford. Our laboratory activities typically consist of raw whole chickens I purchase at the grocery store to teach the students about joints and connective tissue. I have several students who are passionately interested in medicine and the prospect of pursing pre-medical courses in college. I helped three of my anatomy students apply for grants so they can attend a mini-medical student workshop for a month this summer, and all three were accepted! The most rewarding part of being a science teacher is watching student who had previously felt incapable or "stupid" in science classes see that they can be both talented and passionate in a science classroom.
This project falls within the second "body system" unit we've worked in so far this year. My students are currently finishing their nervous system unit, and I paid out of pocket for sheep brains for dissection so they could have a hands-on experience with the lobes and inner structures of the brain. The excitement and anticipation that built up before that lab activity was contagious...on the day of the dissection we had an audience of three teachers, two administrators, and several students who had asked to "go to the bathroom" to pop in and watch us. The excitement and sense of wonder in the classroom that day is something I wish we could have every day and one I know we can have again with another "real" dissection. I would love nothing more than to offer them a real, medical, hands-on experience with the most important organ of the cardiovascular system - the heart. We're serving a large population of African-American students, and it becomes even more important for the students to understand this system when they find out that African Americans have an increased risk of both cardiovascular disease and heart attack at some point in their lives.
Your help will give my students a completely unique opportunity, allowing them to be successful not only within the curriculum but challenging them to inquire about the cardiovascular system from a medical perspective. During the lab, the students will be acting as surgeons, operating on a heart and diagnosing potential issues along the way. I am confident that this lab will put the finishing touches on one of the most important units the students will learn this year, and one of the most important life lessons they'll ever receive: the importance of cardiovascular health and awareness.
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|P2300C-COW HEART • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$21.80||5||$109.00|
|Economy Dissection Trays • Nasco||$10.50||4||$42.00|
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