To anyone peeping into the classroom, it might have seemed like a scene from the popular reality television show. But actually, it was room full of fifth grade students getting their first look at the internal workings of a pig.
Sorrells gifted science class, along with teacher Paige Grays fifth grade science class, spent Wednesday morning dissecting fetal pigs. The pigs were chosen over more commonly dissected specimens like frogs and earthworms, because their organs look and function just like humans, only on a smaller scale, Sorrells noted.
We just finished a unit in our book about vertebrates, now we are moving on to the human body, and this just fits right in with what we are trying to teach these kids, Sorrells said.
So as fifth grader Josie Perry examined the heart she held in her hand, Gray and Sorrells pointed out the different features of the circulatory system that they soon will be studying in their textbooks.
Though the dissection of specimens is normally reserved for older students middle school and high school - Sorrells said that her students behaved very well for such a complex, hands-on activity. This group of students follow instructions better than the middle schoolers. Theyve done very well and Im very pleased.
After examining the heart, students moved to the brain, having a running commentary from both teachers on what they would see and what each part of the brain does.
There were several initial yucks and ewwws, but that soon gave way to the silence of discovery and amazement. I think we may have a few future brain surgeons in here, Gray commented as she stopped by several of her students tables.
Principal Dale Freeman explained that this is the first year that Cherokee has offered a gifted science class. Theyve really done a great job with this. Were trying to make this particular class a little more challenging for students that can delve a little deeper into the whys and hows of science.
The class also hopes to continue their hands-on approach to understanding science.
Sorrells explained that the class has planned a two-night trip in May to Skidaway and Ossabaw Islands, located off the Georgia coast.
Students and their parents will pay the bill for the trip, said Sorrells. With fuel costs still higher than normal, both teachers are currently checking into ways to cover the cost of transportation to the islands.