In September, the Ladue Education Foundation & Alumni Association (LEF) took its commitment to enriching the minds of Ladue Horton Watkins High School (LHWHS) students to a whole new level with an entirely different kind of brain—sheep brains. Thanks to a grant from the LEF, LHWHS social studies teachers Meg Kaupp and Bob Westerholt were able to give advanced placement psychology students the hands-on experience of dissecting sheep brains at the Adventures in Medicine and Science (AIMS) lab at St. Louis University (SLU).
At the AIMS lab, a SLU professor walked the students through the dissection of a human brain, describing its structures and functions, and then turned them loose on their own sheep specimens. The students were broken into groups and worked in pairs, making incisions and locating the interior structures the professor had highlighted on the human brain.
“Our hope is that by getting to engage in a hands-on brain dissection, students will gain a deeper understanding of brain structures and how there is an intersection of biology and psychology,” Kaupp explained. The teachers’ goals were realized, as the students not only enjoyed the experience, but came away saying that it helped put everything into place, building on all their prior studies.