J-Term Independent Study – Taylor Stordahl

During J-Term 2015 I did an Independent Study on Anatomy and Physiology with Dr. Louie because it is interesting and, for me, fun. My main project was dissecting a rat. Surprisingly, I had  fun and learned a lot. For instance, I learned that I enjoy dissection, it was cool to hold a heart in my hand, I learned to be patient while dissecting the brain which was really difficult. It was cool to take the intestines apart to see how long they are – in this case, about 3 1/2 feet. I encourage everyone to try a dissection sometime, it was really interesting.

Rat, intestines, stomach and liver.


Rat brain – this was a really difficult dissection because it had to be removed from the skull and spinal cord. The skull is about the thickness of your fingernail.


Kidney and kidney cross section under a microscope. Seeing the kidney tissue through a microscope is really interesting.

The Heart and close up of cross section of heart showing right (blue) and left (red) ventricle. The heart, when dissected, looks a bit like a cinnamon roll.