This week in Science, we embarked on a fascinating journey into the internal workings of an organism – the dissection of a rat! Dissection allows us to get a hands-on look at the amazing complexity of animals, and this practical provided a valuable opportunity to see what we’ve been learning about in the classroom come to life.

I have to say, I was incredibly impressed by the maturity and respect shown by all the students throughout the practical. Dissection can be a new and potentially sensitive experience, but everyone approached it with a genuine curiosity and a willingness to learn.

Students carefully followed the dissection guide to identify various organs and systems within the rat. We explored the digestive system, from the mouth to the stomach and intestines, learning about the breakdown of food for energy. The respiratory system, including the lungs and trachea, was examined, allowing us to visualise the process of gas exchange. We even located the heart, a vital organ in the circulatory system, responsible for pumping blood throughout the body.

There were definitely some “wow” moments and some “WHAT IS THAT?!”, during the dissection. Students were amazed by the intricate network of organs and tissues, all working together to keep the animal alive.  The experience provided a much deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology compared to simply looking at pictures in a textbook.

Of course, during the dissection, we emphasised the importance of treating the specimen with respect. We discussed the ethical considerations of using animals in scientific studies and the valuable knowledge gained from this practice.

Overall, the dissection was a resounding success!  It was a great learning experience for everyone involved and a big thank you to all the students and mentors for their excellent participation and respectful behaviour throughout the practical.