The Wonder In Anatomy

Students in 10th–12th Grade Anatomy & Physiology have been studying the complex systems in the human body. In order to better understand these systems and how they relate to each other, students recently had the opportunity to perform an in-depth dissection on fetal pigs. According to JHCA science teacher Ms. Kirby Feaver, the internal anatomy of fetal pigs is similar to that of the human body, and their small size makes organs easy to find and identify.
Students worked in pairs to systematically dissect their specimens and identify organs, organ systems, and other biological material, while seeing first-hand the normal variations which are present in each individual.

Ms. Feaver impresses upon students the interconnectedness and wonder of our bodies, which have 206 bones and over 600 major muscles. “In class, you have to go system by system so you can understand each individual piece. However, our bodies work together. The beauty of doing a dissection is it allows students to see how things work together,” she said.

Sarah Tallerico, a junior at JHCA and student in the class, plans to attend medical school in order to become a physician. “This class has really helped solidify that I want to go into the medical field. We’ve been able to approach things from a textbook standpoint and also from a physical, hands-on dissection, and that’s been really helpful,” she said.

Studying science and performing dissections is important for every student, no matter their learning interests. At JHCA, we encourage students to seize every learning opportunity and though many of our students are interested in pursuing a career in medicine post-graduation, all students benefit from participating in dissections.

Peter Cook, a JHCA senior, plans to study business and finance post-graduation and said he enjoys the open discussions and personalized learning that small class sizes at JHCA provide. “Even though I’m not going into the science field, this class has helped me with time management which is a very important skill in business and finance. Having the small, open discussions in classes is a great way to learn. I learn a lot from my peers,” he said.

The classical model is a holistic approach to education which produces well-rounded individuals who are able to think critically about the world around them. As such, the curriculum at JHCA allows students to make connections between disciplines in order to develop men and women who go on to flourish in their lives and careers.

Paraphrasing one of her favorite quotes, Ms. Feaver said, “The humanities and the arts teach us what it means to be human. We read great literature, we look at beautiful paintings, we listen to amazing symphonies and these tell us something about who we are as a person. Science and math teach us about how the world works, and the two disciplines compliment each other so beautifully. The two fit just like how all the parts of our bodies fit together.”

Similarly, referencing the famous quote in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in all your philosophy,” Ms. Feaver explained how science lets us “pull back that curtain and peek just a little bit at some of the things we can only begin to dream about.”

We wish to impart the same wonder and amazement in our science classes that students experience when reading great works of literature or listening to beautiful pieces of music. The dissection in 10th–12th Anatomy and Physiology class is just one way for students to discover and appreciate the world around them.

Watch the dissection recap video!

Mountain Range


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