Mansfield students get to grips with biology live online

While their home studies have been alive and well, students from West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield have enhanced their science skills by looking at how death affects the body and its organs.

Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 11:33 am

Students on applied science, health and social care, and sports science courses tuned in to watch nationally-acclaimed human anatomist Samuel Piri and his clinical team working on a real organ-dissection experience during an actual post-mortem.

Over the period of one week, classes viewed the five-part internet series The Post-Mortem Live, which covered different areas of the body.

A general autopsy first looked at what can be seen from the body on the outside after death.

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Tutor Melanie Pykett carried out one lesson online from her kitchen

On day two, students were able to learn more about the brain and how it works, as well as its links to the vascular system and the diseases which can affect brain health.

The complexities of the heart, its blood-flow system and how the vessels and valves work were looked at on day three, using a pig’s heart as an example.

The groups looked at the workings of the lungs using a pig carcass to demonstrate where they sit and how the voice box, trachea and bronchioles lead into the lungs.

The anatomists also demonstrated how artificial ventilation would have to occur for Covid-19 patients.

In final session, students learned about the digestive system, including the liver, pancreas, stomach and small and large intestines.

College biology tutor Melanie Pykett also filmed herself performing and discussing the dissection of a cow’s heart from her own kitchen as an additional feature for the week.

Melanie said: “This was a really unique opportunity for students across the college to learn using a different approach to being in the classroom.

"They were able to send questions through to the presenters and then took part in group activities.

"All the different methods used by a pathologist were discussed.

Science student Anjeli Amarasinghe Vithanage, 18, said: “I really enjoyed The Post-Mortem Live, which has provided me with an incredible way to learn about the human anatomy, physiology and pathology, especially during this time when students aren’t able to come to college.”