Inspiring and engaging - How the NEACO Project gave students the opportunity to take part in an exclusive live autopsy experience
At the end of last term, Astra Richardson from the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (NEACO) project, accompanied a group of Sports Science, A Level and Health and Social Care students from CCN and Paston College to a live autopsy experience. The event formed part of the VIVIT experience which aims to dramatically enhance students’ understanding of anatomy and physiology through live demonstration and hands on activities.
Astra Richardson writes:
The students joined over 150 other young people from schools, sixth forms and colleges across Norfolk and Suffolk at Blackfriar’s Hall in Norwich. The space was set up with medical style curtains. Two people from VIVIT, who ran the event and did the autopsy, talked through the body, medical terminology and passed round body parts from the realistic but fake body. All students were also given the opportunity to handle body innards such as a brain (with gloves on) which were swine organs. St Johns Ambulance were on hand in the case of any emergencies such as fainting!
The live autopsy experience gave students a chance to explore this subject area more thoroughly and see whether it would be something they’d like to be involved with in the future. This type of experience also helps students with their university applications. One of my colleagues has seen one personal statement from a student who talked about it and said it was a brilliant personal statement because the student was enthusing so much following the event.
This event seemed like a unique opportunity for students to learn whilst doing something really fun and unusual and fitted with NEACO’s remit of wanting to think creatively about activities that can engage students and develop aspirations.
Following the event, we’ve received some great feedback from the students who clearly enjoyed the hands on aspects of the event.
Rosie, one of Lisa Hale’s students from CCN, said:
“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for getting me a ticket to the live autopsy today - I wasn't sure if it was going to be my kind of thing, but I absolutely loved it, and I found it really helpful in consolidating a lot of the content that we've covered in class. Seeing the stuff we've learnt about in real life, and being able to properly understand how it all fits and works together was amazing - it was one of the most interesting things I've ever done, so thank you again for giving me the chance to go!”
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