OTTUMWA— Science instruction came to life this week for approximately 350 sixth graders at Evans Middle School who are learning about the human body.
Thirteen Advanced Anatomy students from Ottumwa High School spent two hours on Wednesday and Friday teaching their younger peers about the heart and lungs by dissecting donated pig organs. The sixth graders were highly engaged as they worked in small groups at the 12 dissecting stations.
Not only did students learn about the lungs and heart, they learned vocabulary words that the high school experts used. Aorta, ventricle, pulmonary valve, and oxygenated could be heard at each table. The seniors also talked about high school science courses and their career goals.
OHS senior, Zoe Klodt, hopes to be a pediatrician. She actually cut the trachea and esophagus away from the lungs to further the students’ understanding of the anatomy. “I’ve enjoyed myself today,” she said. “They’ve had a ton of fun. I talked them through the different parts of the heart. This is my thing.”
Another senior, McKenna Duff, likes working with kids and hopes to be a pediatric nurse someday. “I think [the students] enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s a lot better learning than looking at a textbook.” There are three types of learning, she explained, including looking, hearing, and doing. She hoped that this activity touched all three. “Hopefully the students learned more,” she said.
Students were highly engaged throughout their session. “We never get to do this,” said Charlie Handling. “It’s a new thing for me.”
“I learned a lot of things,” said Graecie Wuebker.
“We found food in the esophagus,” said Jordan Smart. He enjoyed getting to touch a real heart and lungs and is confident the experience will help him with his homework and test.
Katie Shewry hopes to become a marine biologist when she grows up. “You don’t get to see this stuff very often. I love this!”
“Thanks for helping us,” a one red-headed boy as his session ended.
Students who volunteered included: Shyanne Adkison, Ainsley Arnold, Dillon Berg, Jarrett Blunt, Brittaney Cain, Janielle Cobler, McKenna Duff, Zoe Klodt, Dennis Kurtz, Alexandra Reeves,
Seleena Richardson, Lindsay Spencer, and Kate VanNest.