Eighth Graders Get a Feel for the Human Heart

Teachers looking for science materials find more than biology books, skeletal models or science posters at the UCSF Daly Ralston Resource Center.

Included in the center’s 3,000-plus collection is a vast array of human hearts, livers, lungs and other specimens available for checkout.

“I know that many teachers rely on the materials that we are able to offer,” says Lakisha Witzel, coordinator of the resource center at the Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP) at UCSF. “Many teachers and many students are helped by the services we can provide, so it’s great to see teachers come back year after year.”

As a lending library of science materials, the center supports hands-on health and science teaching for all San Francisco Unified School District teachers and UCSF volunteers. Coordinated by SEP, the center offers not just materials, but teaching advice and curriculum support.

“I appreciate what UCSF does in terms of connecting to the community,” says Rosny Daniels, a second-year medical student at UCSF and teacher of 8th grade science at Aim High.

Daniels checked out three heart specimens to demonstrate the electro-physiology of the heart to eighth-graders. “Days like this, when they really do understand and learn something and see why it’s useful, that’s awesome.”