The heart of the matter


Joseph Maxwell (12) carefully dissects the sheep heart. This lab was done to make sure the students comprehended the concept of the heart and how it works.

Breanna Dobos and lakecentralnews

The last thing most people want to think about before lunch is dissecting a sheep’s heart, but Mrs. Roberta Harnish’s, Science, 7th hour Anatomy and Physiology class did just that on Feb. 21.

“The point of the sheep dissection, the heart, was to look at the structure in terms of how it was similar to the atria, the ventricles, the valves, your chordae tendineae, all that stuff. That’s basically what we were looking at as we were dissecting,” LynNora Trosper (11) said.

The lab was supposed to create a hands-on experience to what the class is studying currently. Across the board, there were some mixed reactions initially when the lab started.

“At first, I really thought the lab was gross. I didn’t want to touch anything; I kinda shied away from it, but the moment you make your first actual cut into whatever you are dissecting, it gets easier. Your fear kind of goes away and you’re like, ‘hey this isn’t so bad’ and that’s pretty much it,” Trosper said.

The students made an effort to be perceptive during the lab, and each group had their own dynamic that allowed them to get the job done.

“I felt the lab went well; it’s one thing to look at diagrams and read about a structure. It’s a totally different thing to look deeply at the actual structure. Nothing beats having the actual item in front of you and being able to handle it. Diagrams are the best representation of a perfect situation. In anatomy, nothing is ever exactly perfect,” Mrs. Harnish said.

Although this is Mrs. Harnish’s first year teaching anatomy at Lake Central, she has taught the class and this lab at other schools over the years, but there is always room for improvement.

“In the future, the only thing I wish I could do differently is to have smaller lab groups so that students have to take a very active role in the dissection, rather than only doing some parts,” Mrs. Harnish said.

The next dissection in Mrs. Harnish’s class will take place sometime in the spring.