Students in the Anatomy & Physiology Class at Montville Township High School dissected a sheep's heart on Friday, February 12, 2021. Students participated in the dissection both virtually and in-person.
“Being able to dissect the heart and see the various structures helps students to have a better understanding of its function,” said MTHS Anatomy & Physiology teacher Jaclynn Hinz.
Hinz scheduled the event to coincide with Valentine’s Day.
“Having a basic and fundamental knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology can benefit every student,” Hinz explained, “encouraging them to make healthier life choices and understand what could be wrong, should they experience any type of issue.”
On Feb 12, one student, senior Ashleigh Nederfield, participated in-person. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the remaining students, in Nederfield’s section of the Anatomy & Physiology Class, viewed the dissection live virtually.
“We use a document camera to stream the dissection live to the virtual students so that they can still be a part of the dissection and ask questions through a conference call,” explained Hinz.
With COVID-19 protocols in place, lab participation has been adjusted to accommodate for: social distancing, 100% virtual students, and two separate Cohorts -- Cohort A and Cohort B -- in-person participation.
The document camera allows students to observe and ask questions in real time.
“COVID has made it a bit difficult to carry out typical lab activities,” Hinz noted, adding that during the dissection, “There were 23 students at home watching an EdPuzzle of a second dissection of a cow and pig heart for comparison to the in-class sheep heart dissection. Students in Cohort A and the 100% virtual students will do the sheep heart dissection next week and the Cohort B in-person students (along with Ashleigh) will switch and watch the cow heart and pig heart dissection.”
Anatomy and Physiology is a six credit elective course at MTHS for grades 10 to 12. A combination of both hands-on and virtual activities allow students to explore concepts related to an in-depth study of the eleven body systems and how they work together to sustain life.
“This is not only a great opportunity for students wanting to pursue a career in the medical field to have a hands-on dissection experience,” the science teacher said about taking Anatomy and Physiology, “but it is also important for students to have a better understanding of something that is beating inside of each and every one of them.”
The MTHS Anatomy & Physiology Class introduces students to structural names and locations, physiological contributions associated with these structures, and the impact disease and aging has on these contributions. In addition, medical terminology, diagnostic tools, current research, and clinical advances are explored. Discussions and studies related to how disease can be avoided and controlled are also examined.
A combination of both hands-on and virtual activities allow students to explore the topic. The course is designed to provide all students with a deeper understanding of human physiology and anatomy, and to prepare those who wish to pursue higher education in the field of biology or to enter a health-related profession.
“My favorite part of teaching this course is when students share that they were able to have a better understanding of a doctor's visit because of this class, or to help a family member diagnose some of their symptoms and realize they might need medical attention,” Hinz said. “It is an extremely relevant and applicable course for all students and we have a blast in the class!”
Montville Township High School is one of seven schools in the Montville Township Public Schools district. MTHS has nearly 1,100 students enrolled in grades nine through twelve. There are just over 3,400 students in the pre-k to grade twelve district.