Diagrams of the body are so 1930s and online interactives are neat, but locked in the computer. What if students could print 3D models of the anatomical systems they are exploring?
We are a public magnet school focused on preparing underserved populations for medical professions.
Over 90% of the students in our school are from minority populations and presently 34 different countries are represented in our student body. We are a small school where students are immersed in the world of medicine through intensive health science classes, meaningful field experiences and hands-on internships in area hospitals and clinics. The CMA student body is excited, motivated, and creative. As teachers we are committed to pushing them hard and providing them with any and every opportunity for learning enrichment.
3D printing is the future of medicine. In the past several months doctors have implanted 3D printed jawbones, tracheal supports, and skulls. Through this project my colleagues and I hope to give our students the space to begin developing skills needed to engage in this sort of work. Practically speaking, we envision students printing models of body parts in Anatomy and Physiology, developing prototypes of medical devices in nursing classes, and creating manipulatable molecules in their biology classes.
Many of our students will never have the opportunity to engage with such a cutting-edge technology.
Through the process of learning to use the machine our students will learn design thinking, develop engineering skills, and engage with sophisticated technology. What may be more important, however, is the perseverance, problem solving skill, and collaborative dispositions that they will build along the way. Truly, these are the skills that will most enhance their future opportunities.
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