Back in 2001, a 2nd grade class in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, did a year-long integrated education project on the human body—combining science, language arts, social studies, fine arts, and math. It sounds like a really cool way to learn, and even involved bringing several local doctors into the classroom to teach kids about what surgeons, and other specialties, do. Second-grade Maggie is retroactively jealous.
This gallery of drawings—featuring 2nd-graders' interpretations of a variety of different organs and biological systems—comes from that project. It's a great mashup of science and creativity, producing everything from the fairly true-to-life skeleton pictured above, to fun (and funny) cartoons of the human brain.
I found the gallery via Cliff Pickover, but we are, apparently, not its only admirers. In 2003, Steve Harvey, professor of biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, used the kids' drawings to illustrate a series of lectures on human biology for non-biologists.
Part of what I like about this gallery is the Internet Time Machine effect—stumbling across something wonderful that was made 10 years ago. It's a bit weird to think that the kids who drew these pictures have probably graduated from high school now, or are about to. I wonder what impact they'd say that year of 2nd grade had on them? I wonder whether any of them are planning on biology as a career …