Your Own Anatomical STEM Laboratory

Utilize characteristics of the human body to explore, define, and expand principles of bioengineering and related STEM concepts with the goal of applying lessons learned to non-anatomy subject areas.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Demonstration of rules governing muscle behavior through the use of physical modeling and the essential method Present, Express, Reflect.

Method Components

Instructor designs an investigation governed by the essential method Present, Express, Reflect. Then, the instructor elicits students’ lessons learned through discussion and applies these conclusions to future investigations and lesson differentiation outside of STEM disciplines.

Investigation elements:

  1. Presenter describes the specific rules of muscle behavior (e.g., muscles can only contract) as participants build individual muscles with clay and apply them to a plastic model of an anatomical structure (e.g., the hand). Examples of student tasks and concepts include:
    • Determine how muscles control functions of the hand (i.e., how flexion and extension are accomplished).
    • Construct individual muscles and tendons of the hand with clay and attach them at appropriate points on a scale-model skeleton, where each can perform one basic task: contraction. Explore how muscle fibers act individually or in groups to enable different degrees of movement, direction, and strength.
    • For bones to move, each muscle must cross at least one joint so that when the muscle contracts, one bone is pulled toward or away from another.
    • Since muscles can only contract, each muscle must have a corresponding muscle to reverse—or antagonize—this movement by contracting in the opposite direction.
  2. Lessons are applied with discussion encouraged, which requires students to share their solutions, including lessons from non-anatomy subject areas.
  3. Concepts presented are from the key STEM elements—science, technology, engineering, and math—with the broadest being problem-based learning and the essential method Present, Express, Reflect.

Demonstration of rules governing muscle behavior through the use of physical modeling and the essential method Present, Express, Reflect.

Method Components

Instructor designs an investigation governed by the essential method Present, Express, Reflect. Then, the instructor elicits students’ lessons learned through discussion and applies these conclusions to future investigations and lesson differentiation outside of STEM disciplines.

Investigation elements:

  1. Presenter describes the specific rules of muscle behavior (e.g., muscles can only contract) as participants build individual muscles with clay and apply them to a plastic model of an anatomical structure (e.g., the hand). Examples of student tasks and concepts include:
    1. Determine how muscles control functions of the hand (i.e., how flexion and extension are accomplished).
    2. Construct individual muscles and tendons of the hand with clay and attach them at appropriate points on a scale-model skeleton, where each can perform one basic task: contraction. Explore how muscle fibers act individually or in groups to enable different degrees of movement, direction, and strength.
    3. For bones to move, each muscle must cross at least one joint so that when the muscle contracts, one bone is pulled toward or away from another.
    4. Since muscles can only contract, each muscle must have a corresponding muscle to reverse—or antagonize—this movement by contracting in the opposite direction.
  2. Lessons are applied with discussion encouraged, which requires students to share their solutions, including lessons from non-anatomy subject areas.
  3. Concepts presented are from the key STEM elements—science, technology, engineering, and math—with the broadest being problem-based learning and the essential method Present, Express, Reflect.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2005). Cat dissection vs. sculpting human structures in clay: An analysis of two approaches to undergraduate human anatomy laboratory education, Advances in physiology education 29(1), 27-34.
  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2011). Human clay models versus cat dissection: How the similarity between the classroom and the exam affects student performance. Advances in Physiology Education 35(2), 227–236.
  • Motoike, H. K., O’Kane, R. L., Lenchner, E., & Haspel, C. (2009). Clay modeling as a method to learn human muscles: A community college study. Anatomical Sciences Education 2, 19–23.
  • DeHoff, M. E., Clark, K. L., & Meganathan, K. (2011). Learning outcomes and student-perceived value of clay modeling and cat dissection in undergraduate human anatomy and physiology. Advances in Physiology Education, 35(1): 68–75.
  • Arbel, V., Rudd, A., Muszczynski, E., Growe, M., Marone, J., & Bariether, M. L. (2011). Improving understanding of human anatomy using haptic learning through clay modeling. The FASEB Journal, 25:182–185.
  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2007). A comparison of two approaches to an undergraduate human anatomy laboratory (clay building vs. human cadaver). Presentation, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society National Convention.
  • Patel, J., Rosentsveyg, J. Gabbur, N., & Marquez, S. (2014). Clay modeling for pelvic anatomy review for third-year medical and physician assistant students. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 123 Supplement 1: 195–220S.
  • Patel, J., Rosentsveyg, J. Gabbur, N., & Marquez, S. (2014). Clay modeling as a haptic model to teach a hysterectomy procedure and pelvic anatomy to obstetrics and gynecology students. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 123 Supplement 1: 1–20S.

Resources

  • Myologik Atlas CD. 2014, Zahourek Systems, Inc.
  • Elson, L. M. (2013). Anatomy Coloring Book, 4th ed. Pearson.
  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2005). Cat dissection vs. sculpting human structures in clay: An analysis of two approaches to undergraduate human anatomy laboratory education, Advances in physiology education 29(1), 27-34.

  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2011). Human clay models versus cat dissection: How the similarity between the classroom and the exam affects student performance. Advances in Physiology Education 35(2), 227–236.
  • Motoike, H. K., O’Kane, R. L., Lenchner, E., & Haspel, C. (2009). Clay modeling as a method to learn human muscles: A community college study. Anatomical Sciences Education 2, 19–23.
  • DeHoff, M. E., Clark, K. L., & Meganathan, K. (2011). Learning outcomes and student-perceived value of clay modeling and cat dissection in undergraduate human anatomy and physiology. Advances in Physiology Education, 35(1): 68–75.
  • Arbel, V., Rudd, A., Muszczynski, E., Growe, M., Marone, J., & Bariether, M. L. (2011). Improving understanding of human anatomy using haptic learning through clay modeling. The FASEB Journal, 25:182–185.
  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2007). A comparison of two approaches to an undergraduate human anatomy laboratory (clay building vs. human cadaver). Presentation, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society National Convention.
  • Patel, J., Rosentsveyg, J. Gabbur, N., & Marquez, S. (2014). Clay modeling for pelvic anatomy review for third-year medical and physician assistant students. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 123 Supplement 1: 195–220S.
  • Patel, J., Rosentsveyg, J. Gabbur, N., & Marquez, S. (2014). Clay modeling as a haptic model to teach a hysterectomy procedure and pelvic anatomy to obstetrics and gynecology students. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 123 Supplement 1: 1–20S.

Supporting Research

  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2005). Cat dissection vs. sculpting human structures in clay: An analysis of two approaches to undergraduate human anatomy laboratory education, Advances in physiology education 29(1), 27-34.

  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2011). Human clay models versus cat dissection: How the similarity between the classroom and the exam affects student performance. Advances in Physiology Education 35(2), 227–236.
  • Motoike, H. K., O’Kane, R. L., Lenchner, E., & Haspel, C. (2009). Clay modeling as a method to learn human muscles: A community college study. Anatomical Sciences Education 2, 19–23.
  • DeHoff, M. E., Clark, K. L., & Meganathan, K. (2011). Learning outcomes and student-perceived value of clay modeling and cat dissection in undergraduate human anatomy and physiology. Advances in Physiology Education, 35(1): 68–75.
  • Arbel, V., Rudd, A., Muszczynski, E., Growe, M., Marone, J., & Bariether, M. L. (2011). Improving understanding of human anatomy using haptic learning through clay modeling. The FASEB Journal, 25:182–185.
  • Waters, J. R., Van Meter, P., Perrotti, W., Drogo, S., & Cyr, R. J. (2007). A comparison of two approaches to an undergraduate human anatomy laboratory (clay building vs. human cadaver). Presentation, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society National Convention.
  • Patel, J., Rosentsveyg, J. Gabbur, N., & Marquez, S. (2014). Clay modeling for pelvic anatomy review for third-year medical and physician assistant students. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 123 Supplement 1: 195–220S.
  • Patel, J., Rosentsveyg, J. Gabbur, N., & Marquez, S. (2014). Clay modeling as a haptic model to teach a hysterectomy procedure and pelvic anatomy to obstetrics and gynecology students. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 123 Supplement 1: 1–20S.

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn the micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3, and 4 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Please describe the project/activity that you designed, including the following elements:
    • How did you identify simple rules that govern muscle activity?
    • How did you demonstrate these rules using the selected anatomical structure?
    • How did you extend the concept of your established simple rules through the use of the essential method?

Part 2. Student work

Present two pieces of evidence (video, photos, or other products) that illustrate how student work contributed to the development of your STEM anatomical laboratory, including discussion and implementation of the essential method. Please accompany each piece of evidence with a short description or video annotation if appropriate.

Part 3. Teacher reflection

Please provide a reflection on your activity, using the following questions as guidance (200-word limit for each response):

  • What other applications of muscle behavior may apply to your instructional subject area?
  • How might you modify or differentiate an activity like this for future instruction?
  • What challenges did you face while incorporating the elements of the essential STEM method (present, express, reflect) into your lesson?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Requirements

Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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