Sharing Human Anatomy and Physiology in Elementary Schools
Sindi Diko (Biology) and Bryan White, Ph.D. (Science & Technology)
Students of human anatomy are often overwhelmed by the number of new vocabulary words used to describe the bones, muscles, and organs in the body. At their worst, anatomy classes are exercises of rote memorization with limited useful connection to the lives of students. The University of Bothell’s inaugural human anatomy class utilized a community-based curriculum that attempted to give students a context and deeper motivation for learning anatomy without taking away from the scientific content of an upper level science course. By partnering with Lockwood Elementary, UWB students created teaching explorations on anatomy topics of their choice and presented these hands-on activities to 5th and 6th grade students during two visits to the school. This opportunity gave UWB students a chance to study topics that were not included in the anatomy curriculum, helped UWB students to assess their own understanding as they fielded elementary student questions, and diversified the assessments used to evaluate the learning of anatomy. We will analyze pre and post experience surveys and student self reporting to better understand if this community-based curriculum aided student learning of anatomy. In addition, this class provides an example of the pros and cons of sharing collegiate learning with local elementary schools.