The leg bone connects to a … degree

Improvements made to human anatomy class to help prepare for college


Sydney Bowler

Junior Macy Lacinski and senior Michaela Caster improve their understanding of the human body by molding muscles out of clay on a skeleton.

Sydney Bowler , Editor-in-Chief

Twelve years ago, Mrs. Michelle Vandybogurt began her career as a Human Anatomy and Physiology teacher, and four years ago she started working at Northwest. Upon arrival, she had many improvements in mind to help educate her students to their highest potential.

Within the first year, Mrs. Vandybogurt had made many alterations to the program including bringing in coloring books and zumba classes. She had the students learning by movement instead of through forced memorization, which is one of the classes main priorities.

The coloring books allows students to learn the different parts of the body by color coding and gives them the opportunity to participate in hands-on activity. The same principles are applied to zumba as well.

Throughout her years of teaching, Mrs. Vandybogurt has came to the conclusion that students learn best by participation. Because of this, many of her lessons are meant to keep students on their feet.

“It’s about being kinesthetic and moving your hands and joints to learn. We took the work we did with the skeletal system and did a mini unit called ‘joints and movement’,” said Mrs. Vandybogurt. “Instead of going through and lecturing about the different types of joints and movements, the students actually got to get up and learn through an interesting activity.”

Recently, the class has taken their learning experience to the next level by choreographing their own versions of the cupid shuffle with a small group of students.

“While creating our own versions of the cupid shuffle, we were really able to grasp the concept of joints and movement,” said junior Sydney Rushlow. “For me personally, it made everything much easier to remember.”

Along with the hands-on learning, the Human Anatomy and Physiology class has partnered with Jackson College by partaking in an online medical terminology class. This class gives students the chance to receive college credit for all of their hard work, and gives them a head start in the medical field.

“My favorite part about the class is the fact that I’m able to get a medical terminology class out of the way,” said senior Hunter Cox. “I knew [the class] would be a good introduction to college, and so far it has really helped me learn the terminology I will need to know when I pursue a career in the medical field.”

Students who are interested in joining are required to have completed biology, and preferably chemistry. Students are expected to have at least a B- average, and should talk to Mrs. Vandybogurt about being in the three trimester course next year.