Holding a real human heart is a science lesson not soon forgotten for Bishop Noll students who studied cadavers at a local college.
During two field trips last month, about 40 Noll students visited the cadaver lab at Purdue University Northwest in Westville.
“Special emphasis was placed on the sacrifice made by the person who donated their body to science. Our students treated them with respect,” said Bishop Noll science teacher Rosalie Schmidt ’70.
Once in the lab, students were divided into two groups. Each visited with a doctor of anatomy with one cadaver at a time.
“Each professional explained different aspects of the anatomy. One professor talked about muscles and nerves, while the other went through the systems. After the lectures, students were able to see a dissected brain and nervous system, and several examples of abnormal and normal hearts,” Schmidt said. They were then given gloves and masks and were able to touch various parts of the cadaver's anatomy.
“Not everyone participated, not everyone tolerated the odor well, but it was a learning experience for all involved … I overheard several comments about how cool it was to hold a human heart or brain in hands. I think they were awestruck,” Schmidt said.
Bishop Noll Institute offers courses in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science. Students who exhibit academic excellence are invited into Honors Science classes.