Tieasha Crawford, Science and Math Chair at 30th Street
The ninth-grade biology class has been learning about the human body systems and how they all work together to maintain homeostasis. During the past few weeks, the class has been exploring the excretory system and discovering how the organs of the excretory system help us get rid of waste. This system has two basic functions, both of which occur in the kidneys. The first function is to remove wastes (such as salts, urea, and uric acid) from the body. The second function is to maintain pH and water levels in the blood. The students performed their first dissection lab of the school year. They observed the internal and external anatomy of a pig’s kidney to further understand the anatomy of the human kidney structure and gain a better knowledge of the excretory system.
During the lab, the students drew diagrams of an external view of the kidney. They also located some key features including the renal artery, a vessel that branches off the kidney and brings oxygenated blood to the kidneys, and the ureter, a yellow vessel that transports urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The students also identified some internal features such as the renal medulla, which is the inner tissue of the kidney and its nephrons filter waste from the blood. These structures are present in the kidneys of both pigs and humans, they are located in the same place and perform the same function. The students genuinely enjoyed working on this lab activity, as they practiced dissection techniques and learned a great deal about the kidney. The next body system that we will explore in biology is the nervous system!