Human Anatomy at Colby

Bi265j Mentioned in the Goldfarb Center Newsletter!

January 30th, 2015 · Comments Off on Bi265j Mentioned in the Goldfarb Center Newsletter!

For the last two years the Goldfarb Center has generously supported a variety of activities in Bi265j Human Anatomy and Physiology through their Civic Engagement Course Development Grant. These activities include:

  • A tour of Maine General Augusta and a presentation of their Grand Rounds talks along side similar talks from Human A&P students at Kents Hill prepatory HS to the third year UNE medical students on clinical rotations.
  • Metabolic Analysis Lab in conjunction with the Waterville HS cross country team.
  • Development of an internship for a former Bi265j student shadowing a nurse pratitioner in the Inland Hospital system in conjunction with being a TA for the Bi265j class.
  • Bringing high school students interested in human A&P from a variety of regional school districts to campus for a day of mentoring by Bi265 students in collaboration with the Maine Math and Science Alliance. Activities included touring the anatomy lab, a hands-on pig heart dissection, and a brain storming session for helping the students develop human A&P based projects for the 2015 Maine State Science Fair.

These activities were recently mentioned in the latest Goldfarb Center newsletter which you can read here.

From myself and all of the Bi265j students at Colby and high school students from across the state that have benefited from the Goldfarb Center’s support, we give you our thanks. A special thanks to Alice Elliot, the Goldfarb Center’s Associate Director for her considerable logistical support and Amanda Cooley, the Assistant Director, for the write up in the GC newsletter.

Tags: Special Activities · Uncategorized

High School Students Visit in Conjunction with Maine Math and Science Alliance and Colby Goldfarb Center

January 22nd, 2015 · 1 Comment

We were very lucky to have visitors to our class on Monday the 19th, MLK day, from a number of High Schools in Maine. The high schools included Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, and even a home schooled Junior. The visit was designed to help the ten visiting students get a better sense of human anatomy and physiology in the hope of developing science fair projects for the Maine State Science Fair being held on March 21st in Bangor. The day was organized in conjunction with the Maine Math and Science Alliance and the Colby Goldfarb Center. For my part I was hoping to drive the material further into the brains of my students by following the aphorism the person who comes to teach learns the keenest lesson, while inspiring the spirit of mentorship towards the visiting students. The day started for my students at 9am with a practical lab exam covering the anatomy of:

  • The central and peripheral nervous systems
  • The eye and ear
  • Sensory receptors
  • The cardiovascular system and blood

IMG_5575 IMG_5576

The lab has been up in Arey 307, typically the turf of microbiology lab, but for a month transformed into a splendid anatomy lab.


Danielle Levine (’15, Biology) contemplating a synaptic bouton during the test.


Lauren Shirley (’17, Biology/Music) looking at a dissected pig heart and Ariel Oppong (’16, Biology) inspecting an eosinophil in a histologic blood smear.


Mayra Arroyo (’16, Biochemistry) peering through a stereoscope at the optic chiasm on the 3D plate of a dissected brain from the Edinburgh Stereoscopic Atlas of Anatomy published in 1911.

Following the lab test the high school visitors turned up. I had initially intended for the visitors to start with an Art & Anatomy scavenger hunt similar to the one that I had designed for my students last week in the Colby Museum of Art, except this one would be based on clues created by the Colby students themselves, however the timing didn’t workout with the visitors being able to visit on their day off from school and MLK day falling on a Monday, the day that the museum is typically closed.  Instead the students got to tour the lab and then participate in dissections of pig heart specimens. Rather than type out a description of the day I am simply going to reproduce the official event summary drafted by Stefany Burrell from MMSA, punctuated by annotated photos from the day taken by myself, Amanda Cooley of the Goldfarb Center and Stefany Burrell and Lynn Farrin of MMSA.

Notes from Colby J-Term Anatomy & Physiology Mentoring Session 1/19/2015

10:15    High school students from Lincoln Academy, Foxcroft Academy and a homeschool met Dr. Klepach’s class outside of the science buildings. It was a mild 40 degrees and sunny. Everyone headed into a lab in the Arey Building for an introduction.

10:30    Dr. Klepach welcomed the visitors and described his philosophy on science and teaching. The students were struck by his enthusiasm and knowledge. Many were inspired by his belief that teaching is learning.


Introduction by Stefany Burrell and Dr. Klepach.


Lynn Farrin (left) and Stefany Burrell (right) of the Maine Math and Science Alliance.

10:45    The students introduced themselves and the formed five groups, each with two high school students and three Colby students. Prior to this meeting, the class completed a lab exam. The exam consisted of approximately 30 questions in which students needed to identify various parts of human anatomy. The exam was broken into four sections: eyes, ears, nervous system and vascular system. As an icebreaker, the college students walked their charges through the exam, explaining what the physical models represent. The exam also included microscope slides, diagrams and a real pig hearts.


The Colby Human Anatomy and Physiology class started escorting their visitors around the test that they had finished less than an hour earlier. 


Lauren Shirley is discussing the chambers of the heart with her fellow Colby students, Allison O’Connor (’17) and Cal Robbins (’17, Cellular/Molecular Biology) to the left and Dover-Foxcroft HS sophomores Bonnie (second from right) and Erika (far right).


Mayra, flanked by her Colby group members Ivan Yang (’17, Cellular/Molecular Biology, left) and Chris Lee (’17, Cellular/Molecular Biology, right) points to structures on a model of the heart to help Lincoln Academy seniors Abby (second from right) and Andrea (far right) understand what they are seeing on the dissected pig heart in front of them.


Erika getting a chance to look at the Edinburgh stereoscope slides.


Ivan discussing a cross sectional model of the spinal cord.


Can (John), a Lincoln Academy freshman (center), inspects a left coronary artery dissection as Colby students Yvette Qu (’18, left) and Alex Lucas (’17, Neuroscience & Sociology) look on.

11:10    The group moved to another lab where they put on gloves and aprons to dissect pig hearts. Each dissection station included a computer with loads of diagrams to assist in dissections. Under the Colby students’ guidance, the high schoolers dissected the hearts. Dr. Klepach moved around the room, answering questions as they came up. He took a few minutes to explain how blood moves into and out of the heart before and after birth.


Enormous cow heart ready for dissection.


Students preparing to dissect a pig heart try to orient themselves based upon surface anatomy. 


Danielle discussing the surface anatomy of the heart with Cierra, a  Dover-Foxcroft sophomore, and Shea-Lynn, a home schooled junior, as her classmates Ari Thomas (’16, Neuroscience, far left) and Laurel Edington (’15, Biology, second from left) look on.IMG_0344IMG_0312IMG_5945IMG_0315

Ashley (left) and Norma (center), seniors from Lincoln Academy, make the first cut into a pig heart as their Colby mentor, Rebecca Gray (’18, Biology / History), looks on.


Thilee, a senior from Lincoln Academy explores the left ventricle.


The aortic and mitral valves revealed!


Dr. K goes to the board to explain the flow of blood through the chambers of the heart.


12:00    Everyone got cleaned up and walked across campus to the Foss dining hall for lunch. Many people were drawn to the location as there was a noontime speaker in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The crowd was thick and the supply of dishes and cups was low, but the food was delicious. Dr. Klepach had reserved a room for the group to eat lunch together. Many of the high school students were a bit overwhelmed trying to get their food amid such a crowd.


12:45    The next stop was the Olin Building, to a lecture hall below the science library. The students returned to their groups and Dr. Klepach introduced the final activity of the day: developing testable questions for science fair projects. Using a SMART Questions document produced by MMSA, the students came up with questions related to anatomy or physiology. They honed their questions and discussed how they might go about answering the questions.
One group had a good discussion about parameters that students can easily measure such as blood pressure, pulse, body mass index and body fat percentage.
Two other groups were curious about the physiological effects of various emotional states such as fear or amusement. They considered the use of video clips to trigger different emotions.
Another group, spurred by one student’s interest in livestock, was stumped by how they might measure parameters in a cow.
One pair of high school students, knowing that they would not be doing a science fair project, took the time to ask their mentor about college life.
The final group wanted to explore body image, comparing how people view their weight to reality. They came up with a good research plan that involved anonymous surveys asking people to describe if they think they are underweight, overweight or at a healthy weight. The subjects would guess at their weight and then use a scale to determine their actual weight.
Dr. Klepach asked each group to report out and asked thought-provoking questions such as how students would isolate variables. He also asked the students about the limitations of common measurements such as body mass index.


1:45    To wrap up the day, all participants filled out surveys. High school students and college students took separate surveys that asked about their motivations for participating, what skills they honed and what they considered to be the day’s highlights.

I thoroughly enjoyed having the visitors in the class and look forward to having them back in the future for this and other activities.

~Dr. K

Tags: Lab · Special Activities · Uncategorized