The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Biology Society arranges heart dissection

Holding a sheep heart in his hands, John DeLeonardis discusses the dissection procedure with students.

The piercing stench of formaldehyde wafted through the biology classroom as students equipped with scalpels and intricate diagrams sliced through layers of sheep hearts.

On Feb. 15, Biology Society hosted a sheep heart dissection event in honor of Valentine’s Day, inviting students to take a hands-on approach to learn about the heart’s anatomy. The session was led by John DeLeonardis, the program director for biomedical services at SoBran, Inc. and an acquaintance of junior Kyle Alexander, the club’s co-president.

DeLeonardis guided the students through the dissection step by step, identifying and explaining the functions of each part of the heart. Meanwhile, the club’s officers walked around the room, assisting each pair of students.

Biology Society also held a similar event last year, but there was no one to guide the students, many of whom were inexperienced.

“Last year was so chaotic, but with a mentor, the dissection this year is a lot calmer,” sophomore Heather Lukas, the club’s publicist, said. “People are more directed because there’s a set procedure, and when a cut is made, everyone is looking at the same part.”

According to Lukas, the event was also an ideal opportunity for freshmen and other students who are not taking advanced biology courses to learn more about the heart’s anatomy and the dissection procedure.

“Overall, it was a fun experience,” freshman Will Ryu said. “After learning about all the parts of the heart in health, it was definitely interesting to see them in real life.”

Because of the event’s success, Biology Society looks forward to hosting a sheep brain dissection in June, as well as an eye dissection next year in time for Halloween.

In addition, the club will be collaborating with Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology (TWIST) for the upcoming Techstravaganza, an annual event held in April aimed towards inspiring elementary and middle school students to pursue their interests in science and technology.

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