Dissection Nation

Science teacher John Gallant explains the importance of dissections. Gallant's classes dissected starfish, turtles, perch, and sharks.

by Rima Adepu, Reporter

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In John Gallant’s fourth-period Aquatic Biology class, the students are required to dissect many animals, find different parts of them, and record it all. Gallant is a science teacher who teaches general biology and aquatic biology. He has taken a great interest in marine life and what it can do for the world, as well as the humans in it.

“I think dissections bring a unique opportunity for the students to get some hands-on-learning,” Gallant said. “Whether it’s the organ system or how different the species of animals function and grow and develop.”

Dissections in general whether it’s in biology or Aquatic Biology is a great class activity to do and get some information out of it. Some students believe that it is the most exhilarating experience.

Finnegan Twete ‘21 is just one of those many students. Recently he just dissected a freshwater turtle and found the many parts of it. “It was the most fun I had,” Twete said. “Last year as a freshman, I took regular biology and had to perform a pig dissection and I learned so much about the different parts in animals and got to compare it with humans.” 

Along with Twete, Morgan Wetzel ‘21 also did the many dissections that were held in Gallant’s class. “It was pretty good,” Wetzel said. “I have the opportunity to do cut into animals and not many students might be that interested in it as I am but it is still a pretty good learning experience.” 

“I think it brings, whether it’s in biology or here in aquatic biology, a unique opportunity for some hands-on learning,” Gallant said. “I think that it is fun and exciting for students, it gets them up and moving and not just reading it in a book or watching a presentation but they are taking ownership of their own learning of whatever topic that particular teacher is studying at that time.”

For students who want to pursue a career that includes animals and the science behind it, then Aquatic Biology, Biology and Zoology are great classes to take.

“I think it gives them a perspective of how the body functions work and what the role of these organs are and what an aquatic biologist does and the differences between vertebrates and invertebrates and land animals and aquatic animals and so it gives them a broader knowledge of how all functions work,” Gallant said. “So I think that that’s important for any student that they understand the why and they understand the how of things functions and relate to one another.”

“In general biology, at the end of the second semester, we spend a month learning through a pig, we learn the organ systems, respiratory systems, and reproduction systems,” Gallant said. “And in aquatic biology, we go from starfish to perch to a freshwater turtle to sharks. In zoology I know they’re doing dissections as well so there is a variety of opportunities for students here to experience that hands-on learning and the ability to and discover and to take that ownership in creativity to their own learning.”