Organ Dissections: One Day Medical Residency at U of B
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Photo: These University of Bunyi medical students are shown dissecting and observing a pig heart.
I debated with myself this morning on what to write about. With about ten topics tempting me, I had to go with this one. Dissecting cow eyes, pig hearts, pig kidneys, and sheep brains just can't be ignored. So, put your medical scrubs on and see what happened at the University of Bunyi Medical School last week.
The Human Body Project
Essentially, this was an independent, student-driven health unit. The students truly were the teachers, as we learned through doing, creating, and presenting to each other. I learned so much from the students and depended on their knowledge to guide this project.
Students applied to attend the University of Bunyi Medical Program as either a Cardiologist, Pulmonary Specialist, Orthopedic Specialist, Neurologist, or Ophthalmologist. A generous scholarship fund gave my students a free-ride under this 5 week program (aka-me and community donations and support).
Here is a link to our complete health unit:
This includes, virtually, everything you need to complete this project from start to finish (minus you ordering the organs). From printables to Internet links of video dissections, very little planning will be required on your part. I ordered the organs two weeks before dissections for about one hundred dollars. I think it was totally worth it. Medical scrubs were donated by a local hospital and a few quick phone calls secured the medical specialists that helped out with dissections (and one Facebook message even). It is worth stating that this entire unit took up minimal class time for us.
Our Medical Program
The program consisted of three required components:
1. Creating a model organ and presenting it in our "museum". You can see one of the models made by a student below (human eye on a stand).
2. Writing a research paper and presenting findings in front of a panel of peers. This was a great way to reinforce skills such as writing an outline, using headings, incorporating pronunciation guides into our writing, and giving credit for resources.
3. Passing an "MCAT" before participating in a one-day medical residency with a medical specialist.
Photo: A local hospital donated all the medical scrub/gear. The organs were purchased at www.carolina.com. I highly recommend this site. The organs can be stored for up to a month and did not smell nearly as bad as I thought they would.
Photo: My mother-in-law worked with this group of students to dissect and discuss the kidney. Originally, this group was supposed to work with pig lungs, but I'll spare you the details on how I messed that one up!
Photo: The students actually took home the retina and the lens of the cow eyes to show and tell their family. You can only guess what the ride home on the bus might have looked and sounded like.
From Our Research Presentations
Photo: Gabe presents an interactive Powerpoint presentation, using audio, animation, and a wireless Interwrite pad to write on the slides. Gabe was admitted in the neurologist program. It was very informative! I so need to post about my Interwrite pad. Love it, love it!
Bring in the Models
Photo: This student used wiki sticks, a printer, and flower materials to create a human heart model.
Photo: This was a project model of how blood gets pumped through the heart. It was amazing!
Photo: I am still trying to convince this student to donate this to me. So far, it's a big fat no.
Bonus: An Ode to the Froggy Jokester....
So, I felt it was only right to let teachers know (via email) that we completed dissections on the lunch tables in the lounge. With no running water in our classroom, I really didn't have a choice. Someone was just a little too cute, and pasted these all over the cafeteria tables. Whoever did this is one funny person!
Usually, lesson plans and unit plans stand on their own. With this being such a unique unit, I encourage you to ask away about planning this in your room. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher friend, Mrs. Burt, do something like this last year. I borrowed her packet, her ordering tips, and made it my own. Maybe you can do the same!
P.S. In the main photo, you will find my proud six-year old, Dr. Eli. He completed "dissections" followed by participating in my Science Olympiad practice sessions after school. It was a big science day for him. He even "won" the barge building competition and helped demonstrate prisms on an overhead for a small group of 3-5 students.