Monday, November 9, 2015

Meeting their specimens

Friday students got to meet their specimens for the first time. They were a turtle, dogfish shark, squid, stingray and rabbit. Although the students were excited and wanted to start dissecting immediately, I felt that I had to hit the brakes; I wanted to see their dissection gameplan first. Most specimens came with a dissection guidebook (or we purchased one); the shark, rabbit and squid came with one while the turtle and stingray did not. In the weeks leading up to the arrival of their specimens, students have been researching dissection guides and dissection videos online in preparation. Although I did not want to stifle their enthusiasm, I wanted them to understand that their gameplan and incisions needed to be purposeful, not simply "slice and dice". Just like in carpentry: "measure twice, cut once". So we (I guess, mostly I) decided that Friday would be Picture Day. I asked all participating students to take pictures of their specimen's external anatomy for every conceivable angle, as well as close-ups of various features found in their dissection manuals. They will be documenting and labeling these pictures in the day to come.

Here are some picts I took around the room:

dogfish shark (made the room smell like a fish market)  

bunny rabbit

Squid. Where's the rest???

Stingray. Dorsal surface is dark, ventral is light. Hmmmm...

We've got quite the zoo going on here!
 In addition, one of my students is learning about the anatomy of her pet tarantula. While I wouldn't say I am arachnophobic, spiders would not be my first choice of pets (personally). We obtained permission to bring the spider into class as long as it remained caged. The presence of the spider in class added to the excitement and interest. Not such a bad thing, eh?