Make friends with a skeleton.
The smiling group above includes most of the great students I am teaching in 9th grade Biology and 10-12th Anatomy this year. I've talked about them here and here. Also in the picture, behind and to the left of the skeleton is Greg Landry. You'll hear more about him in a minute...
Last Thursday, we had the rare opportunity of visiting the Cadaver Lab at Appalachian State University. I'm pretty sure that there aren't very many high school students who have such an opportunity. My friend, Greg, who teaches at ASU and directs the Anatomy Camp I helped with two summers ago, graciously allowed me to bring my students to his lab on Thursday to learn about the cadavers that are used in the anatomy courses at ASU. Under Greg's guidance, we got to see and touch them. Now you may not think that's such a great thing, but most of my students thought it was pretty incredible.
For an hour and a half, we listened, looked, and touched. We passed around a human skull, handled a brain, saw a leg with an artificial knee joint replacement. We viewed both male and female cadavers. We were in awe of the muscles and tendons, surprised by the small size of the appendix and the large liver. We didn't realize that bile really is that green, the tendons so tough or the inside of the skull so incredibly beautiful - like mother of pearl!
Greg was incredibly generous with his time and wealth of knowledge. My students loved him. They came away with an increased reverence and wonder for the human body, as well as a great appreciation of those who are willing to donate their bodies to science. This is one field trip they will not forget!
If any of you readers have students who might be interested, Greg directs Anatomy Camps for high schoolers in the summer at ASU. Students in the camp have the same opportunities that we had and more. If you'd like more information, go here.