by Taylor Tiamoyo Harris
Instead of learning with your typical miniature body model, biomedical science academy students in Hunterdon County now have the opportunity to dissect bodies, virtually.
“It’s super cool. We get to see the nervous systems and different layers of the body as if the person was laying right in front of us,” said freshman Damiano Palladino, 15, who plans to study oncology after graduation. “The virtual aspect is a lot better than just googling it online.”
The anatomy teaching tool allows students to see every muscle of the body according to the program’s instructor, Donna Badgewell. This also includes showing them abnormalities, such as an enlarged spleen.
The students who use the table are in Hunterdon County Vocational School District’s Biomedical Academy, which is located on North Hunterdon High School’s campus.
Tables such as the one at the vocational school, paid for through an $80,000 grant from the state Department of Education, are typically used in college and in medical schools.
“These are the top students in the county. In order to attract them to a program like this, we need to make sure we’re providing them with the top education and that includes things like the anatomage table,” said Jessica Cangelosi-Hade, the program’s director of curriculum. “We redesign the program every year so hopefully this adds length to the program.”
The table was installed by DMR Architects, which has installed over 550 educational projects in 100 school districts across the state. However, Hunterdon County Vocational School’s virtual table is one of only two in high schools in the state that can dissect a virtual body in class, without all the mess.
Though the use of the table is supplementary, Badgewell hopes to change that after attending training in California this summer to learn more about the table’s updates and operations.
“They love it and have adapted to it so well. The overall goal is to implement as much of its use in the curriculum as we can,” said Blackwell.
This article originally appeared on NJ.com.