Real Life, Real Animals…Gross or Amazing?
Feb. 21, Edmonton – If you ever wanted to see the insides (and outside) of some of the world’s animals, Vista Virtual School (VVS) students had this chance!
Participating in the Telus World of Science’s “Body Worlds: Animal Inside and Out” exhibition, students were able to see exactly what a dog, a bull, or even a giraffe look like from the inside.
“I wanted to come to this exhibit because it’s really interesting to see how detailed the animals are inside and I think it’s really cool,” said VVS student Brooklyn K. “It almost looks fake, including in the marine life exhibit, but it is really well done.”
This in-your-face understanding lets students see the muscles, tendons, respiratory systems and major organs to help understand how similar humans and other organisms are in their makeup.
“In junior high science, students learn about organs and systems, and seeing it on display at the Telus World of Science was a great opportunity to see organs and systems in real life,” said junior high teacher Bryan Frechette.
The exhibit focuses on many different aspects of biology and the makeup of animals (and humans) preserved and plasticized.
“I like coming to the (VVS) events in general and the science events are usually pretty cool,” said student Devin G. “It ties in really well with biology, and it’s really interesting to get a look at this outside of the normal coursework.”
Maybe it’s Gross
Using a process called Plastination, students further examine biology, zoology and physiology of creatures—how they look(ed) in real life—preserved, graphic, and showing various systems of the body (in humans and animals).
“There is no substitute for anatomical displays like these, they are world class,” said Frechette. “I even met a former colleague during the exhibit and he’s teaching anatomy at the University of Alberta—he had his entire class attend the exhibit.”
All ages can learn from the animals featured, and gain a deeper respect and appreciation of the animal world.
“This provides students with an accurate understanding of the morphology of organisms (the forms and the interactions between organ systems),” said Karen Campbell, a science teacher at VVS. “As well, it’s a way to compare the shape of one organism to another—to understand similarities and differences based on the geographic habitats of the organisms.”
Broken down into minute details, the bodies on display are something we don’t typically see, and may have never seen before. And this helps us understand how animals have adapted over time, as well as the similarities between even the most simple organisms and complex bodies.
Focused on conservation and reducing endangered species, the exhibit also shows how we are all connected and how everyone can help with conservation and preserving animal populations.
“Learning outside of the classroom is an important part of education,” said Campbell. “We need to know learning can and should occur everywhere, all the time. When we stop learning, we start to decline in all aspects of our lives.
“Being able to connect outside of the ‘classroom’ is always a joy!“