Did you know that superheroes like Deadpool and Elastigirl can be used to teach human anatomy? At The Ohio State University College of Medicine, instructors created a unique course called “SuperAnatomy” to make the subject more engaging and relatable for undergraduate students.
By incorporating superheroes into the curriculum, the course aimed to increase student motivation, improve understanding, and make the content more enjoyable. For example, Deadpool was used to illustrate tissue repair, while Elastigirl represented hyperflexibility.
One of the content examples included discussing how Wolverine’s claws would affect his musculoskeletal system. Another example involved citing Groot in a discussion of skin disorders. These creative approaches helped students connect anatomy to popular culture, enhancing their learning experience.
The study, published in the journal Anatomical Sciences Education, found that the use of superheroes in the course had a positive impact on student engagement and learning. Melissa Quinn, the senior author of the study and an associate professor of anatomy at Ohio State, explained that incorporating pop culture references helped students apply foundational sciences in a more relatable way.
The SuperAnatomy course was designed by Jeremy Grachan, a former Ohio State Ph.D. student who is now an assistant professor of anatomy at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. The course was open to students of all majors and consisted of lectures and lab sessions.
Surveys and quizzes were conducted to assess student learning and application of course content. The results showed that students in SuperAnatomy performed just as well as students in traditional anatomy courses. The survey responses also indicated that the inclusion of superheroes expanded students’ understanding and motivation.
Overall, the SuperAnatomy course demonstrated that incorporating creative and relatable elements, such as superheroes, can make anatomy more interesting and engaging for students. By bridging the gap between academia and popular culture, educators can inspire imagination and facilitate deeper learning.
For more information, you can read the study published in Anatomical Sciences Education: DOI: 10.1002/ase.2312
Citation: Dissecting the anatomy of a ‘superheroic’ science class (2023, August 9) retrieved 10 August 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-08-anatomy-superheroic-science-class.html
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Shambhu Kumar is a science communicator, making complex scientific topics accessible to all. His articles explore breakthroughs in various scientific disciplines, from space exploration to cutting-edge research.