We had our third After School Science Lab today.
It wasn't for the faint of heart (or stomach) as we dissected frogs.
Now, dissecting frogs is not in our curriculum. In fact, the kids don't even get to dissect until they hit high school biology. However, every single year the first question we get asked is "Will we be dissecting frogs this year?" The kids are obsessed with the idea of dissecting frogs. So, when we found a tub of frogs in the lab (bought a few years ago for a science club thing and never used) Mrs. Eagle and I thought it would be a good idea to reward the kids who've come to our after school labs and let them dissect. After all, they kept asking for it.
So, this lab was by invitation only - we invited the kids who've shown enough interest to come to the previous labs - and they all knew beforehand what we'd be doing. Mrs. Eagle and I didn't want some kid coming who couldn't handle dissection and would faint and cause a lot of paperwork. It had been so long since I've dissected anything that I ended up asking Mrs. Standard, our science consulting teacher with the district, to send me some handouts.
We had the frogs, the kids, the worksheets, and all the tools.
And we had a blast.
None of these kids had ever done anything like this before, and I was amazed at how well they did. They took their time. They made careful cuts and incisions. They referred to the worksheets to identify the various objects they saw. And they really worked those frogs over, just looking at stuff.
"Hey, look, ours is female it has eggs!" yelled one pair.
"Cool! You can see the liver right there!" was another comment.
"Man, eyeballs are hard!" exclaimed another.
They loved it. One student said she was glad she did the lab because she's been thinking of being a surgeon and wanted to make sure she could deal with it. The only complaint, really, was the smell, but believe me, it was a lot better than the smell of the frogs I dealt with in High School that were preserved in pure formaldehyde.
I can't wait to hear them talking about it tomorrow!