On Monday, students dissected pig hearts in their science class. This opportunity was made possible by Hamlin parent, Dr. Krista Ramonas and her friend Dr. Brett Sheridan. Dr. Ramonas is an ophthalmologist and Dr. Sheridan is a cardiothoracic surgeon who performs heart transplants. They both work at California Pacific Medical Center.
Dr. Sheridan began by asking our girls some questions like:
Why do we have a heart? How many cells are in the body? How many chambers are in the heart?
He then drew a brief sketch on the board describing the anatomy of the heart.
Our students had the opportunity to work in pairs to dissect their pig heart; observing frozen blood, the different valves, and the areas of the organ that are very thin, almost translucent. The experience provided a hands on opportunity to really see how a heart functions.
Grade 1 scientists performed their very first dissection last week as a culmination of their adaptations unit. The girls dissected a squid and observed the beak, ink sac, tentacles with suction cups, chromatophores for camouflage, fins, and siphon. They even used a part of squid anatomy called the pen to write with the ink. Squid pens, or gladii, are the vestigial internal shell of squid. They’re used primarily to support squids’ muscular tissues and organs. The flexible pen allows for jet propulsive swimming. Squeals of joy filled the room as several young scientists exclaimed, “this is the best day of my life!”
Another group of impressive young scientists completed their cow eye dissection last week. As part of the learning, we had an incredibly engaging guest speaker, Dr. Krista Ramonas. The girls were so inspired by her presentation. They asked many thought-provoking questions and approached the dissection with the maturity and interest of true scientists. They said their favorite parts were the tapetum lucidum, optic nerve, vitreous humor, and lens.