Seventh grade students in Zachary Smith’s science class got a hands-on learning opportunity Wednesday as they dissected frogs.

Smith said this is the second year his students have completed the lab exercise as part of their discussion on frogs and their habitats.

“I did it when I was here and the students look forward to it the whole year,” he said.

Students worked in pairs to cut through the skin and abdomen of their frog specimen, so they could identify the internal organs.

“This is really gross knowing we’re dissecting it,” Aaralin Urwin said.

As Smith walked around the classroom and placed a frog into the trays, students were not thrilled with the aroma.

“I was excited to see it, but at the same time, I knew it was going to smell bad,” Urwin said. “It smells like something in a doctor’s office went wrong.”

Smith noted how the initial smell is tough for the students and then they struggle with how juicy the intestine area is from the solution.

The students used scissors and tweezers to cut through the skin and peel it away from the abdomen. Before slicing through the abdomen, many students noted how the frogs appeared to have “six packs.”

Avery Bernhardt said he was looking forward to seeing the frog’s lungs and heart to see how big they are and feel the texture.

As the students secured the cut abdomen with pins, Cierah Hernandez was surprised by the intestines.

“I wish I hadn’t seen it, but it’s kind of cool,” she said. “I thought everything would be smaller.”

In Smith’s first section, the students got to see frog eggs inside one of the specimens. The eggs were black and wrapped around behind the abdomen.

As the students began to identify the organs inside the frog, they removed each of them and placed the organs on the frog diagram paper at their stations. While the students were able to successfully remove the organs, some organs were more challenging.

“The lungs were hard to get out because they were connected to the back and head,” Jacob Trevino said.

During the dissection, Maddison Bissell-Elwess said some of the organs felt weird.

“I say the fat bodies and the lung felt weirdest,” she said. “The lungs have this rough part around them and the fat bodies are just weird. The stomach is really squishy, too, and then it pukes.”

Once the students placed the organs onto sheets and show Smith, they cleaned their areas and washed their hands.

While the students look forward to the lab, Smith hopes it makes them interested in science.

“I hope they realize being a scientist can have perks,” he said. “Hopefully, it gets them excited about science.”

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Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at