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Wauwatosa West debuts new virtual cadaver

Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 18:42:55-04

WAUWATOSA — Say goodbye to the plastic bones and skulls in your science classroom and hello to virtual cadavers. Well, that's at least what some students at Wauwatosa West High School are saying.

The school just debuted its new Anatomage Table. It's a three dimensional hyper realistic virtual cadaver.

"I’ve never thought I'd be able to do something like this," junior Amyra Larry said.

To be honest, I thought the tool was fascinating too.

It allows the user to analyze the body on multiple levels from the outside of the skin down to our wire-y nervous system and everything in between. You can cut open the heart and see the inside of various valves while it is still beating. You can even cut off half of the virtual cadaver's face and see what it's like inside a human head. Don't worry, since it's all made for practice and educational purposes, it's not gore-y. There are male and female cadavers.

"They’re able to do dissections. They are able to do surgeries. They are able to look at multiple body systems. They are able to identify different parts of those body systems," science teacher at Tosa West, Thomas Schneider, said.

It gives students the ability to get a head start in the medical field with hands-on training.

“Here you can do multiple surgeries. If you make a mistake - oops- it’s okay because you can just reset and try again," Schneider said.

They can even simulate different ailments and diagnose those individuals. Amyra Larry is thrilled about this because she hopes to be a pediatrician one day.

“I can experience the different body systems and how things work, and it will get me ready for experiencing it with actual little children," she said.

This is certainly a rare opportunity for the students, teachers, and school overall. The staff at Tosa West said that they are the only high school in Wisconsin that has one of these tables. In total, 200 high schools around the world have an Anatomage Table. The other schools in Wisconsin that have it are the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, and UW-Madison.

Not to mention, cadavers are expensive to maintain, dispose of, and they are only good for one round of experiments.

As you could imagine, these tables aren't cheap. It cost $50,000. The school was able to afford it thanks to a grant from the Education Foundation of Wauwatosa.

This tool isn't available to all students at Wauwtosa West High School, though. Only those in Thomas Schneider's classes are able to use this tool, not just because it's expensive, but also because students have to learn how to use it too.

This doesn't replace those five-foot-tall skeletons inside the science classroom, but it does give them some stiff competition... pun intended.

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