Eye Dissection

Today’s lab was a student favorite:  an eye dissection.  After reviewing the structures of the eye, students worked in pairs or individually to dissect a sheep eye.  After identifying the optic nerve and trimming off excess muscle and fat from the outside of the eyeball, students cut the eyeballs into a front half and a back half.  At the front of the eyeball, they located and observed the iris and the lens.  Most students removed the iris in order to better observe the colored part at the front and the muscles visible at the back.  Some also cut the lens and observed its layered structure.  At the back of the eye, students found the retina and its blind spot, noticing that it matched up with the position of the optic nerve on the back of the eyeball.  They also found a surprise difference between sheep eyes and human eyes: there is a beautifully colored membrane, called the tapetum, behind the retina that aids the animal’s night vision.

Students did a great job managing their dissections and observing their specimens.

Disecando un ojo

La actividad de laboratorio del día de hoy, es una de las favoritas de los estudiantes: la disección de un ojo. Después de repasar las estructuras del ojo, los estudiantes trabajaron en parejas o de manera individual para disecar el ojo de una oveja. Primero identificaron el nervio óptico y luego recortaron el exceso de grasa y músculo de la parte externa del globo ocular. Después cortaron el globo ocular en dos mitades; en la mitad frontal observaron el iris y el lente. La mayoría de los estudiantes separaron el iris del resto del ojo para poder observar con mayor detalle la parte delantera de color y la parte posterior con músculos. Otros estudiantes disecaron el lente y pudieron apreciar su estructura en capas. En la parte posterior del ojo, los estudiantes hallaron la retina y su punto ciego y además se dieron cuenta que éste corresponde a la posición del nervio óptico. También se encontraron con una sorprendente diferencia entre el ojo de oveja y el humano. El ojo de la oveja, posee detrás de la retina, una hermosa membrana coloreada llamada tapetum, que ayuda a la visión nocturna del animal.

Los alumnos hicieron un excelente trabajo con sus disecciones y durante la observación sus especímenes.


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Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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