Rohit Varma heads a $6 million eye study. He works with leading scientists. He can lecture off the top of his head. So shouldn't teaching a class of kindergartners be a snap for him?
Not at all. Two years ago, Varma, an ophthalmologist at the University of Southern California, carried a skeletondubbed Peterto his son's kindergarten class. He quickly launched into the basics of bones, making it all the way down to the rib cage before a girl pointedly raised her hand. She wanted to know one thing: Where did the skeleton come from? "Then the dam broke," Varma recalls. Suddenly, another childand then anotherjoined in the chorus of questions. Was this a dead person? What happened? How did Varma get hold of the body? Varma shot a look at the teacher. She smiledand stood back. continued...
Illustrations: Gary Hovland
this story in Acrobat PDF format.
Reprinted from the HHMI Bulletin,
September 2001, pages 18-21.
©2001 Howard Hughes Medical Institute