Students at East Elementary School squealed at the sight of an adult pig heart presented by Michelle Hage, Atrium Health liaison.
Hage said the heart, shown in gym class, was an illustration in a lesson about heart rates and how important exercise is to maintaining a healthy heart, taught by Samantha Boyd, physical education teacher.
Elementary students did not dissect the heart. They only observed it.
“We all know that this interactive way of teaching is the way they learn best,“ Hage said.
The lesson kicked off the start of a new health science education program at East Elementary.
Three years ago, Atrium Health and Union County Public Schools partnered to provide students in the Monroe Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle School with an opportunity to learn about medicine and possibly become interested in joining the medical field after high school, according to Hage.
This year, the health science academy has expanded to East Elementary, Walter Bickett Elementary and Monroe High School; therefore, the partnership is building a “lateral” education, Hage said.
Six weeks ago, the health science academy was added to East Elementary. The elementary already had a health sciences as a special (also known as an elective), but the academy teaches students at all grade levels about medicine.