Foster fifth graders get close up look at respiratory system

February 26, 2019

Fifth grade students at Foster Elementary School jumped right into their journey of life science by getting a closer look at the respiratory system on Monday.

The fifth graders study during the course of the year includes life science and dissection of pig lungs. The pigs’ respiratory systems are provided to the school by Sander’s Meat Packing in Custer, said science teacher Hjordis Rivet, who was leading the discussion for the first time this year. Rivet and fellow fifth grade teacher, Bekki Moser, both had the help of recently retired science teachers Ann Sleeman and Geri Fellows to help them on Monday.

“This was a great experience,” said Rivet. “I think this is so important for the kids to make this as real to life as possible. This is as close as we can get to that, referring to using the pigs respiratory system.”

Sleeman ran the program for 15 years until her retirement from Foster, she said.

“It is always good to have experience in the room,” Rivet said. “Sleeman is so calm, collected and is great with the kids. We have worked together in the past and this just seemed very natural.”

Rivet said that although the class is just moving into the life science unit, the class has to do the dissection based on the availably of the lungs from Sander’s.

Rivet said Monday’s activity will be a great lead into the third and final unit of science.

“It was great because you got to experience a whole different respiratory system,” said Kassidi Duell, a fifth grader in Rivet’s classroom. “If you want to be a surgeon, this is a good start. You have to cut the right organs. If you cut into the wrong one, something could go wrong. At first I wasn’t feeling great about the dissection, but once I started doing it I thought that it was fun.”

Fifth-grader Cooper Holmes liked it because he got to see how the lungs work and was able to blow them up during the experiment.