Krieger Science Blog

A few ideas for home science education projects...

Anatomy Projects for Kids

The word ‘anatomy’ evolved from Greek roots meaning ‘cut up’ or ‘separated into pieces’. We discovered how the body works, how it can go wrong, and how to help it work better, by separating the supremely sophisticated organism into its simpler component pieces, and learning piece by piece about each component and system. The first scientists in the ancient world, in which cutting into the human body was taboo, had to make do with dissecting animals. In the modern world, we have a richer selection of opportunities to learn directly about the inner parts and inner workings of the human body. Modern surgeons and medical students can dissect willingly donated cadavers, and the general public can view preserved human bodies in museums of anatomy, made possible by the modern art of plastination. And children in a modern home or classroom can still easily follow the time-honored practice of dissecting animals. And then, once you've figured out the basic principles by which the parts work, it is often helpful to make a boiled-down representation, a simplified toy model of the real thing. A child's education in life science should include lots of dissections and anatomical models, and these are some that I have used successfully in my own classes.