Hands-On Learning in a Virtual World

March 1, 2021

Hands-on learning is an important part of a student's education, however virtual learning is causing us to re-think how we can make it happen. Especially if you are trying to teach biology or anatomy. Thanks to Zoom, Google Classroom, etc., educators are able to use video to"show" students how to dissect specimens, but really, how long is a student's attention span at home? Especially, if they do not have a good view. And besides, dissection topics are more fun with a hands-on experience.  

To help with this, Forestry Suppliers has added some new distance learning dissection kits to their product line that allow students who are learning from home to have that hands-on experience. Designed for distance learning, these kits introduce 1 to 2 students to the specimen's anatomy and include an in-depth dissection guide to help them through the process. Each specimen is preserved in formalin fixative, but washed and shipped in a unique process that is safe and ensures a hassle-free setup, dissection, and disposal. Each kit comes complete with a foam tray, two pair of Nitrile gloves, two disposable aprons, a storage bag, scissors, six T-Pins, forceps, a teasing needle, a ruler, information packets, and detailed instructions on how to dispose of the specimen.

The following specimens are available in these comprehensive kits:

Grass Frog Anatomy Dissection Kit and Advanced Bullfrog Anatomy Dissection Kit

Choose from a grass frog or a bullfrog with these two kits. While grass frog specimens are more economical than bullfrog specimens, some educators prefer bullfrogs over grass frogs because bullfrogs' hearts are big enough to see each chamber clearly, and their stomachs often yield crawdads in addition to insects. Dissection of a bullfrogs’ brain and eyes reveals subdivisions large enough to clearly discern, and inflation of the large lungs and urinary bladder is something students will never forget!

Mammalian Heart Dissection Kit (Sheep's Heart)

Dissection of the sheep heart offers students an excellent opportunity to learn about the anatomy of a mammalian heart. The human heart is similar in structure and function; the most obvious difference is that the sheep heart is much smaller. Students will be able to observe: coronary arteries, auricles, pulmonary arteries, aortic valve, pulmonary valve, pulmonary veins, left and right atrium, superior and inferior vena cavae, tricuspid valve, right and left ventricle, etc.

Mammalian Eye Dissection Kit (Sheep's Eye)

Dissecting sheep eyes helps students understand how the structure of our eye affects how we perceive the world we live in. Students will be able to recall the different structures of the eye and their functions along with what structures sheep have that humans do not.

Mammalian Brain Dissection Kit (Sheep's Brain)

A sheep brain is great for teaching about memory and where it takes place because its brain structure and functions are similar to the human brain. When students dissect a sheep brain, they learn about the cortex, brain cells, and where the three main subdivisions of memory (working, long-term, and skill memory) take place.

Thanks to great kits like these, students can continue to have the hands-on experiences they love and learn so much from. We know how innovative you are as an educator. What are some ways you have encouraged hands-on science experiences with your students during this time of learning from home? Let us know!

Stephanie Miller

With over 25 years experience, Stephanie serves as a senior copywriter, social media director, and senior editor for Science Scene. Stephanie is always on the lookout for new educational and STEM-related opportunities and technology.