SPOKANE, Wash. — Eighteen Garry Middle School students will dissect frogs and mice to learn about human anatomy as part of an after-school program offered this week through Washington State University Spokane CityLab.

Students signed up for the program when they saw Keith Orchard, CityLab camp instructor, dissecting a frog in the hallway of their school as they made their way to lunch.

“Some students say, ‘oh, gross!’, and others say, ‘cool!’,” said Orchard. “The ones who think dissecting a frog is ‘cool’ are the ones who sign up for the program.”

The learning objective of the after-school series is to compare mammal and amphibian anatomy through dissection and then apply that knowledge to human anatomy functions and adaptations. Students also learn about problem solving and how to use lab equipment.

“The program and venue gives kids creative, interesting and positive activities to take part in after school,” said Orchard. Other activities of the program will include a paper-folded frog jump race and t-shirts with human anatomy — heart, liver, intestines — drawn on them by the students.

The program began Tuesday and continues today and Thursday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Garry Middle School, 725 E. Joseph.

The after-school, science camps are conducted by WSU Spokane CityLab in conjunction with Spokane Public Schools as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Learning Centers grant, known locally as the HUBS program. Three more after-school CityLab programs will be held in November and another series in December at other District 81 middle schools in Spokane.

Created in l995 by research scientist Sylvia Adams Oliver, Ph.D., as a satellite of Boston University School of Medicine CityLab, WSU Spokane CityLab provides eastern Washington middle and high school students and teachers valuable educational experiences in biotechnology and related sciences. CityLab is one of the WSU Spokane programs moving into the new Health Sciences Building in January 2002.

Contact Kaarin Appel at 509/358-7528 to arrange photo opportunities and interviews with Keith Orchard and/or student participants.