Babes and Chicks: Museum Style

While I was out having a “babe” of my own, look what the Education department had…

A chick!

Now, the collective “awww”…

This little chick is an end result of a Dissection Lab called “The Yolk’s On You.” Yes, dissection, but the class was about eggs – not chicks. In addition to dissecting both hard boiled and raw chicken eggs (unfertilized), students were able to observe fertilized chicken eggs in an incubator. One of the demonstrations the teacher did was to place raw eggs in vinegar a few days before class. If you haven’t tried this at home, you ought to, it’s really neat.

It is even more interesting to take an egg once soaked in vinegar and place it in corn syrup. I won’t tell you what happens, since hands-on science is way more fun! From an educational standpoint, it is a good activity to illustrate diffusion and osmosis.

Of course, I wouldn’t recommend eating any of the eggs soaked in vinegar or corn syrup, but if you dissect the hard boiled kind with a kitchen knife, you can always make sandwiches! Bon appetit!

Teachers Cutting Up in the Classroom?

Life is beginning to get “back to normal” in the basement of the Museum post-Ike.   I’ve missed listening to the constant hum of children in our hallways – it really seemed like a different place without them.  I’m enjoying listening to the school groups right now, buzzing outside my door as I peruse the great photographs we took at our Exxon Mobil Teacher Workshop last night and write my blog.

The teacher training we had last night was awesome!  We were lucky to have a super-fun group of teachers.  They discovered how dissection is not just for “big kids” anymore.  We had teachers that teach pre-k and teachers that teach high school, and everyone left with great hands-on experiences and ideas for their classrooms.

The fun began by learning the anatomical terms you need to know for dissection.  Check out how teachers learned these tiresome terms in an amazingly fun way!  What a better way to excite your students than letting them bring a stuffed animal from home to label with fancy science terms?  Do you know where your posterior is?  I’ll give you a hint, I bet your sitting on it right now!

Then came the pickles.  Say what?  Yes, pickles.  Teachers practiced using dissection tools such as scissors, scalpels, tweezers, and probes, as they dissected a jumbo pickle.  Look at what a rockin’ job this teacher is doing with this pickle.  Don’t laugh, I bet you can’t find the dorsal side of a pickle!   

Did you know you can dissect a flower?  All you need is a flower and your bare hands.  Check out the flower parts this teacher is finding.  Do you know a petal from a pistil? 

Then things really got juicy, no, really, they did.  Squids for everyone!  Teachers got their own squid to dissect as Nicole Temple (Director of Youth Education) dissected a larger fresh squid from the Asian Market.  The teachers in this picture look very engaged.  Hey, check out the size of the chromatophores on this squid!

The teachers finished up the night by quickly dissecting an egg.  These smart teachers now know their albumen from their chalazae.  Can you say the same for yourself?