Here’s a top tip that I first was given by a very experienced biology teacher at Brisbane Grammar. You can inject the vascular system of a heart with paint to highlight the blood vessels. I had a practice yesterday and found it much easier on this bovine heart than I ever have on a porcine heart. I’m not very experienced with syringes and needles, though, and there were plenty of labbies in the porcine pluck workshop at ConQEST that did a great job of it.
My tips for success:
Water down the paint a bit to make it easier for the syringe and needle.
Use a brightly coloured paint. Red and blue is tempting but yellow, orange and green show up much more clearly.
Allow a bit of air to flow out of the needle into the blood vessel ahead of the paint if you can.
Massage the paint along the finer vessels with your finger.
Try not to tell the lady at the craft shop what you really want to use the paint for. She will just look thoroughly disgusted and keep one eye on you until you finally get out of her shop.
I’ve also been told you can let the paint dry and see the highlighted vessels by cutting across the muscle and looking for the paint.
Teaching science can be a tough gig. There seems to be no end to the cool experiment ideas on the internet that you can try in the classroom. But you don’t always have time or the confidence to check it out first and there is nothing worse than a science lesson that falls flat because the internet lied to you.
What if you didn’t have to ‘squeeze science in’? What if you knew how to make science part of every lesson?
Fizzics Education offers a free teacher PD workshop for schools that book school workshops. This is not a powerpoint presentation; it’s a bunch of experiments demonstrated to your staff that have been classroom tested.
We can also arrange this via video conference if time does not allow us to present this on the day of your school visit.
Miss Vivi has seen the difference even a quick one hour workshop can make to a teacher that wasn’t sure where to start with a specimen. Let Dissection Connection and Fizzics Education give you a set of skills that will make you the best teacher you can be when it comes to delivering science in and out of the classroom.
This Top Tip comes from Tamara Daus, Science Operations Officer at Kingston State High School, in August 2013. Thank you, Tamara! This is a specimen we don’t see enough of in schools and the collective wisdom of lab techs is the best source of info for others to learn from. images courtesy T Daus
Semen from Dissection Connection, new digital microscope… Movies worked really well too
I’m taking the semen into the first Year 8 classes tomorrow. We’ll be able to have the digital microscope up the front with the image on the SmartBoard for the whole class to see, and then the groups will be able to use their own microscopes to focus and check out their own slides.