By Kirstin Nichols
Arundel High School has many student organizations, ranging from honor societies, to language clubs, to community service clubs. However, one student-run group stands out from the others: dissection club.
Tay Cheema, a member of the Science Honor Society, came across the idea last year when Mr. Swetz had the words “dissection club” on his board and asked him about it. He told her that she could run the club if she wanted to, and she immediately took interest. Soon enough, alongside co-leaders Katie Morrone, Abby Arbon, and officer Connor Morningred, the dissection club was born.
The club will meet about once a semester due to limited supplies. “We dissect an organ of an animal,” Cheema says. “I think there’s going to be cow eyes–that’s the one I was vouching for–and I think there’s going to be a heart and a brain.”
Surprisingly, animal organs such as these are not hard to purchase. “There’s a lot of websites online where you can get [organs] for educational purposes,” says Cheema. However, supplies are limited, so there is only room for about fifteen students to participate in a dissection, along with a fee of around 5 dollars.
Cheema sees the dissection club as a great learning opportunity. “I’ve always loved biology,” she says. “It’s one of my favorite subjects and I think it’s really important to encourage other people to indulge in it. I know many people don’t like science and they don’t realize that there’s so many fields in science that you can get interested in. Just seeing one aspect and how cool it is can encourage other people to want to learn more about other sciences.”
At first, even Cheema had doubts about dissection. “Last year, I dissected a pig and I thought it was going to be so gross, but actually it was really interesting and I got to learn a lot.” She believes that dissection can actually be a great opportunity to learn things you normally wouldn’t, saying “the learning process–seeing organs out in the open–you know this is a part of us.”
Mr. Swetz agrees that dissection leads to a greater appreciation for science, more specifically, the “structure and function” aspect of anatomy. “Being able to talk about where the specimens come from and the skill that’s needed to separate the vital structures… I think they get an appreciation for it,” he says. Students also find a better understanding of the scientific method and observation. “Students that come back talk to me all the time about how important dissection is to them.”
While there is not an official date for Dissection club meetings, the first will most likely take place in December, and fliers for it will probably begin to appear around the school soon. “I think if you’re really invested and interested then you should definitely stop by,” Cheema says.