Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

April 29, 2014

SOME PIG — and some science lesson!

STEAM grant blends science, reading skills

By JUDY SHERIDAN

Student interest soared to TERRIFIC levels recently at McCall Elementary in Willow Park as 90 third-graders got a chance to dissect a pig’s head as the finale for the “Charlotte’s Web Steam Grant: Science Technology Engineering Art Math wrapped in a Literature Web.”

Alan Small, of Worth Learning Inc., conducted the anatomy lesson, the apex of five weeks of science activities centered around E.B. White’s famous book, “Charlotte’s Web.”

Proposed by McCall third-grade teacher Jennie Lytle and awarded by the Aledo ISD Education Foundation, the $4,200 grant also allowed students to make insect habitats, holograms and homemade ice cream, using the activities as a reward for completing their reading.

“It was awesome,” Xavier Anderson said of the pig’s dissection. “The bones in their nose look like butterflies.”

 “It was very fun,” said Adam Takacs. “I poked the eye and black fluid spilled out of it.”

“I’ve never actually seen a real pig,” Sydney Porter said, “and I didn’t know how hard it was to take a pig’s eye out.”

“We learned that a pig’s brain is five times smaller than a person’s,” Emilee Davis said, “and that a pig’s sense of smell is better than a dog’s.”

Avery Mulkey was glad to have a change of pace and thought it was really cool. “We dissected the brain, eyes, tongue and part of the ear,” she said.

A few students were less than enthusiastic, however, and some were contemplating life as vegetarians.

Payton Coppock didn’t appreciate the way the pig’s tongue came out when its head was flipped and described the brain as “much squishier” than one might think.

“Not so much,” Kylee Voorhees replied when asked if she enjoyed the activity. “I’ve seen the eyes out of the head, and they’re little and gross.”

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