Anatomy class dissects pregnant rats


Jillian Poplon (12), Chelsea Oprea (11), Kristen Copple (12) and Christine Foreman (12) participate in a dissection of pregnant rats in their second hour Anatomy and Physiology Honors class. The girls continued the dissection and removed the fetuses on Sept. 13.

Ellie Nelson and lakecentralnews

Removing a rat fetus from a placenta does not sound like something a high school student would like to be doing at 8:50 in the morning, but for Dr. Dustin Verpooten’s, Science, second hour Anatomy and Physiology Honors class last Friday, they were doing just that.

“I wanted this learning experience to be tailored to student interest. When I surveyed the class about whether [the rats] would be pregnant or not, [the vote] was unanimous,” Dr. Verpooten said.

Dissecting pregnant rats proved to be a beneficial experience to multiple students.

“I think it was [beneficial]. I want to be a physician’s assistant, so I’m going to be in surgical rooms sometimes. This dissection was a good introductory experience,” Lauren McCracken (12) said.

Though beneficial and interesting to many, not all lab groups’ dissections went smoothly.

“We accidentally cut one [of the babies] in half the first time we were trying get them out of the placenta,” Alyssa Portela (12) said.

This particular anatomy class has an eventful dissection future ahead of them.

“We are going to do a pig autopsy which is different from the other classes. The curriculum calls for a pig dissection, and when I started researching pig samples I found a pig autopsy kit. It will allow students interested in the medical field to simulate the processes they might experience in a human autopsy,” Dr. Verpooten said.