Field trip to the dead

MaKenna Eilert and Leah Beyer

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Field trips allow students to experience learning in an entirely different way. Students in the Accelerated Anatomy and Physiology class were given this opportunity with a visit to a cadaver lab. Cadaver labs give students an up-close look at the human body and how everything is connected.

“It was really cool to have a hands-on experience,” junior Jenna Wilson said. “Kind of being able to apply what we learned throughout the year.”

This year, the cadaver lab trip took place at Cloud County Community College on Thursday. Kansas State University no longer allows high school students to participate in cadaver tours, so this is the second year the group has traveled to Concordia.

Many students look forward to the chance to experience a cadaver tour and learn even more about anatomy during these visits.

“Every year, I have students ask me if and when we’ll get to go see cadavers,” Anatomy and Physiology teacher Craig Ackerman said. “And every year after we go, I hear how much they enjoyed it. Last year we took 20, and this year we got to take 40.”

Cadaver tours revolve around observing a deceased body. The combined sight and smell senses sometimes caused students to need to take a break, if only for a short time.

“At first the smell and sight was a surprise but I eventually got used to both of them,” sophomore Daija Wilson said. “I had to step out for a brief moment because for a little while the thought of what I was seeing got to me along with the smell. The experience was unforgettable and I’m lucky I got to experience it in high school.”

Cadaver tours not only involve learning more about anatomy, but also learning about where the cadavers are from. In this particular instance, the students were given the chance to observe  a 41-year-old woman.

“Essentially, the students are giving a brief history of where cadavers come from, and then the person leading the tour shows the students the cadavers and the many parts that the students had learned in anatomy,” Ackerman said. “Almost always they start with the muscles on the cadaver, and then work their way through the organs.”

Many who attended this trip are considering a future job in the medical field and jumped at the chance to experience a cadaver lab before college.

“I do plan to work in the medical field because I want to help people live the best life they can,” Wilson said. “I’ve always been drawn to it ever since I was young.”

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Field trip to the dead