Students dissect pickles


Kaiden Loep

Dealing with dead pickles isn’t a normal occurrence, unless, of course, teacher Megan McMullen is in charge.

During a dissection lab last week, the Anatomy and Physiology class sliced open pickles that McMullen had previously set up with toothpicks and food dye. Each pickle had a different cause of death, including decapitation, drowning, broken spinal cord, shot and stabbed.

“My pickle had a broken spinal cord, but it was hard to tell what it was at first because there were no exterior wounds,” junior Tana Cleveland said. “My partner and I had to cut the pickle open in a Y-shape and fold back the skin flaps; that was when we discovered what was wrong with it.”

The lab wasn’t just for fun and games; the students were learning the entire time.

“The whole point of the lab was to help us use the directional terms we had just learned,” Cleveland said. “We also learned how to cut things open properly.”

McMullen found out about the lab online and gave her own spin when it came to the causes of death.

“We chose to do pickles because they have more of a structure than other fruits and vegetables, and they are similar to cutting open a person or animal,” McMullen said. “Plus it was super fun setting this lab up; it was a challenge at first to figure out how to dye the inside. It was a trial-and-error process.”

McMullen may have the student do one more food lab, but she has much bigger plans for later on in the year.

“I really enjoyed the food lab, but I would rather have them get some real-life experiences in there too,” McMullen said. “Yeah, its fun to play with food and it was educational, but I am really looking forward to having them dissect a pig, rat, frog or something of that sort.”

Senior Sean Haycock’s pickle was decapitated, so he had a separate funeral for the head and  the body, he said.

“The pickle lab was really fun; we had little funerals and all for each pickle. Most of the groups even sang a song at the pickle’s funeral,” Haycock said. “I liked dissecting the pickles, but I really want to dissect a real animal next.”

Haycock said he took the class just to have another science, but it is turning out to be better than he anticipated.

“I expected this class to be boring because it is hard to make learning about the body fun, but Mrs. McMullen has really changed the game,” Haycock said. “I am looking forward to the next labs because this class is actually fun.”