Achievement House Blog

Science Graphic

Atriums, Ventricles, and Valves, Oh My!

Julia DeBald

We’ve all been told that we should judge someone for what’s on the inside rather than their outward appearance. Well, Mrs. Throckmorton’s anatomy class took that message to a whole new level! Two rising seniors, Serenity Vidot and Jaiden Sims, had the opportunity to look at what some of us may want to remain a secret.

Studying the structure of living organisms is best revealed through dissection, and inspecting the insides of animal organs give us the opportunity to discover how they differ from human organs. Serenity and Jaiden were some of the lucky students who had the opportunity to assist Mrs. Throckmorton with the dissection of an actual pig heart to compare those differences first hand.

Serenity was worried that she would miss out on the chance to experience a dissection as a cyber student, but Mrs. Throckmorton was thrilled to hear that she was interested in getting some hands-on experience. They saw and identified the different structure and functions of a four-chambered heart, connecting what Serenity learned in class to a real-life situation.

“I really appreciated Mrs. Throckmorton giving me the opportunity to recall and apply what I learned by letting me see it firsthand. This made me appreciate being a cyber student because I got to talk with my teacher directly and have that one on one time to learn right on my front porch, which I never would have been able to do in a regular classroom setting.”

Serenity holding the heart she just opened up.


Another rising senior, Jaiden Sims, had a very similar dissection experience as Serenity, yet it remained a unique experience. She had the opportunity to come into the AHCCS office and work with Mrs. Throckmorton to see the different sections of a small pig’s heart, finally discovering its center.

“I love seeing how things work together to find out how their different parts fit and connect, and my pig’s heart was very intact rather than damaged. I love dissecting things and if I were in a regular classroom, I probably wouldn’t have been given my own heart to dissect.”

Jaiden holding the heart she is going to dissect.

Jaiden’s and Serenity’s interest in anatomy stems from their curiosity in the structure of how things are made up and work to create something. Serenity is particularly interested in how human bones work together to make us walk and talk, and hopes to become a speech pathologist where she can learn about the structure of the jaw. Jaiden is more interested in being an ecologist, which will still allow her to study organism’s relationships and reaffirm that everything is connected.

Both students preferred the individual aspect of this project because it allowed them to work at their own pace and appreciate the experience even more. Serenity and Jaiden’s feelings towards having such a personal learning environment proves that you don’t have to miss out on experiences at cyber school!