Tangible Anatomy vs. Book Anatomy Wins With Students

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box, or in this case, the textbook.capture1

Heritage teacher Mark Pickett took a group of 16 students to the BYU anatomy lab on October 7 so students could get some “hands on” experience, rather than just textbook study.

“The TAs at BYU spent an hour showing the students various parts of the human body that had been dissected,” he said. “They got to see cadavers and parts of bodies.”

Mark said this is the second time he has taken Heritage students to the lab. The first time he had some squeamish students who had a hard time but this time nearly all participated.

“The kids were amazing,” he said. “They loved it and have talked about it a lot. It makes it more real than to just sit and read or memorize parts. They got to touch everything.”

The lab is in the new Life Sciences Building on Brigham Young University campus. Mark said the students were split into four groups, each with a teachers’ assistant to explain and answer questions.

“Each of the TAs brought out a brain,” he said. “It was a little bit of a shock. The kids said ‘I’m holding a person’s brain!’”

He said having this hands-on experience elicited many questions. Students asked to see and hold things like digestive and nervous systems.

“I had fun at the lab,” said Larissa, a Heritage student. “I never saw parts of a body before that were real. It smelled kind of bad but overall it was really cool. Now I can say that I saw a dead body. I learned a lot and I felt like it helped me more seeing them.”

Mark has future field trips planned. He will take students to the BYU athletic training department where they diagnose and treat preventative problems for athletes. He also teaches Student Government and will take that class to the state capitol for a tour.


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