BIOLOGY students at Queen Mary’s College had the opportunity to participate in a two-day course run by Operating Theatre Live on November 20 and 21.

Not only did the experience link closely to the A-Level curriculum but it also helped to further students’ interests in biology and the human body and to confirm their interests in medicine (and whether they had the stomach for it too!)

The workshop used organs from pigs due to the similarities to those of humans. Students looked at various different anatomical structures with a hands-on approach to dissecting specimens. 

Dressed in scrubs, masks, hair nets and gloves, the first activity was to dissect the brain, as part of a task to find the five separate parts of the cerebrum.

The next task was to dismember the eye and locate the optic nerve, cornea, iris and retina.

Student Isabelle Bone said: “I now have a greater understanding of human anatomy and know the basics of some procedures such as a brain dissection. This has furthered my interests in biology and studying the human body.”

The students progressed by examining, analysing and dissecting the specimens chest cavity.

The individuals learnt about the left and right heart chamber and how the aorta and superior vena cava work in harmony.

Allanah Weaver added: “The event was extremely fun, interactive and an educational two days allowing us to gain greater depth beyond classroom learning.

“The organs and learning materials supplied were of good quality and the most similar to human samples possible.”

Day two entailed analysing the digestive system, amputation of the specimen’s leg and making a plaster cast.

The students were given specific roles such as working as an operation team, which taught them time management, leadership skills, and how to work in a professional environment.

Not only has this given our students the ability to further their knowledge and skills it has encouraged them to choose their next step within education.

Jessica Lake added: “I can put it into my university application and talk about it in interviews, as well as having the experience in anatomical knowledge and procedures.”