Dissection Club at St. Theresa’s – for the aspiring biologist

by Zsofia Hatvani, St. Theresa’s Catholic High School

At St. Theresa’s Catholic High School in Midland, teachers provide students with many opportunities to be more involved in their learning and have hands-on experiences during their four years of high school. St. Theresa’s organizes many different clubs and activities for any student, with any interest, to grow and learn in their studies and passions. The St. Theresa’s Dissection Club had their last meeting on Friday, November 24th, and any student with an interest in biology and science could participate in the exploration of the anatomy of the lamprey, a parasitic sea eel. This year, the club dissected three different animals, the earthworm, the sea cucumber and the lamprey. Students performed the dissections in the lab during their lunch break and conducted the dissections independently, with the guidance of Mrs Gignac, a general sciences teacher. The club was organized by Mrs Gignac, and funded by the school and Mr. Tate, the school principal. “I like working with the students to learn about new organisms and provide them with extra opportunities for science learning, especially getting extra dissections because there are only typically a few in high school biology,” said Mrs Gignac, on her favourite part of the dissection club this year. Students began by watching a video demonstration of a dissection and then choosing their specimen. They then examined the external anatomy of the organisms, identifying the different parts, and then cutting the specimens, to examine the internal anatomy, the different components and organs of the animal. “It was a really cool experience and it’s awesome that Mrs Gignac and Mr Tate would give us the opportunity to do something like this,” said Ashley Archer, a student who attended the club. The students all enjoyed their experiences from the club. “It doesn’t matter if it’s something as small as a worm or as big as a lamprey; cutting into things in biology is always fun,” said an anonymous student, after their last day attending the club. The students and Mrs Gignac look forward to attending in the coming year, and to exploring new specimens.