Heart surgery & other operations

Our resident maths & physics tutor Lars also ran two very popular dissection workshops with students this term. The first of these involved dissection of a lamb pluck – lungs, liver, and heart, all connected by the oesophagus – providing an excellent opportunity to satisfy some of the student’s natural curiosity about biology. This process introduces students to a vocabulary of appropriate terminology related to anatomy and physiology of a mammal. Drawing comparisons to human physiology, students investigate and recognise the anatomical structures and explain the physiological functions of these body systems. Learning could then extend to recognising and explaining the interrelationships within and between anatomical and physiological systems of the heart and lung system.

The second dissection primarily showed the action of ligaments. Students worked through the different layers to remove the skin and reveal bones, joints and ligaments. Cracking a joint reveals the synovial fluid, cartilage and tendons. Their functions were discussed and comparisons to a human foot were drawn.

The learning-by-doing approach practiced at SML College allows students to each work at their own pace; with some students having ‘had enough’ after 20minutes and others wanting to continue even after 1 ½ hours of investigation.

Student Moses Barnard Seidel commented on the sessions:

“We had lungs and a heart in front of us. We were dissecting them. There were a lot of facts that we found out. The hearts have chambers, that lungs aren’t hollow and heartstrings take a lot of effort to pull.

Most of the people that did the first dissection, did the second one too. This time we used pigs trotters. How the tendons worked was really interesting. The layers of skin and fat were fascinating and tougher than we thought. It was a really fun and useful experience and I really enjoyed it.”