Project Title:Learning Through Dissection
My Students:I am currently teaching 9th grade Living Environment in a large public school in Manhattan, NYC. Although teachers often exaggerate their studentsí greatness and in some cases their worst behaviors, I am nothing but sincere and honest when I tell you that my students are some of the most hardworking and inquisitive students you will ever meet. They are always eager to learn and curious to see what I will teach next. I strive to keep my students engaged and motivated to learn by doing with them as many hands-on activities/labs as possible. Some of these activities/labs include the strawberry DNA extraction lab and the class field trip to the American Museum of Natural History. Whenever I add these exciting and hands-on elements to my lessons, I notice that studentsí excitement is always palpable and the time they spend on tasks is substantially increased. For this reason, I always keep my lessons dynamic and hands-on.
My Project Goal:At this juncture of the semester, I am almost done teaching the unit on human body systems. My goal is to have this unit culminate in a dissection lab with the class. I believe that for students to really appreciate and understand the intricacies of the body systems, dissection is a necessary lab for them so they can see and touch for themselves the body parts that they have been studying. Another educational advantage of dissection is that it is hands-on and fun, so students are going to be more engaged in the lesson. The AP of science at my school has already secured the donation of dead fetal pigs from a nearby research hospital. The bad news however is that my school is operating with a tight budget so it does not have the money for the dissection kits that my students need for this lab. I know my students would be hugely disappointed if I told them that we cannot do the dissection lab because we do not have the necessary materials. Therefore I am, on behalf of my students, writing to secure the fund for purchasing the much-needed dissection kits.
Budget:The materials I need are the dissection kits. Each class has 28 students and I will divide them into 7 groups of 4 for the lab. Each group will get one dissection kit, and adding one for myself, I will need a total of 8 kits. I am however requesting 20 kits because the extra ones can be used if any of the other ones malfunctions and also because the vendor is offering discounts if we place an order of 10 or more kits. The amount of fund I need for this order is $246.00. Vendor Price Information
Procedure:Before the day of the dissection lab, I will spend one full lesson on the ethical treatment of animals used in the lab. In addition to learning the importance of being respectful to the animals, students will also learn the safety rules and get a preview of the lab. On the day of the lab, each group will receive one fetal pig, one dissection kit, and accessories such as gloves and tissue. I will then go over the lab procedures and the important rules that students will need to follow. Throughout the lab, I will closely monitor the students for any indication that they may need guidance. When the lab is done, students will clean up their stations and properly dispose the lab materials. Each student will then have to hand in a formal lab report a week later.
What will the students do with the resources you have requested?:Through this dissection lab, which can be made possible by your generous contributions to the purchase of the dissection kits, students will be able to:
Evaluation:I will evaluate the effectiveness of this project through two major methods. First, I will closely monitor student performance during the lab. I will pay particular attention to see if students are following safety rules, treating the animals humanely, performing dissection correctly, and cleaning up their stations properly. Second, the summative assessment will be the lab report that I require from each student. In the lab reports, I will be checking to see whether students have demonstrated that they have gained a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the body systems.