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Spooktacular new technology is a treat

Monday, October 30, 2017 - 11:00am

Students at Mercyhurst North East can't wait to get their hands on floating skulls, peel back the layers of muscle and veins, and explore pieces of the body in-depth.

This isn’t just a Halloween trick. Thanks to a Perkins grant, Mercyhurst North East offers anatomy instruction in 3D every day to students in its biology and allied health programs.

Six new computers, featuring zSpace virtual reality technology were added, giving faculty and students the ability to pick up, move around, examine and better understand the multiple layers of the human body’s skeletal, muscular and vascular systems. 

Putting on the 3D glasses and utilizing this technology opens a whole new perspective and level of understanding to students, said Kari Dundore Shrout, director of the biology department at MNE. Part of the curriculum is learning the names of bones and muscles, she said. The software is an engaging study tool that even helps students correctly pronounce each term.

But the level of understand goes even deeper, Dundore Shrout said, as students can see how blood vessels, which appear flat in textbooks, in reality wrap around bones and muscles.

“What’s cool about this technology is that the students can see what a particular piece of anatomy looks like on the entire body with all the components together,” she said.

PHOTO: Students Steph Cooley, Amy Hornaman and Jeremy Baronner activate 3D images of the body by wearing special glasses that send signals to the zSpace computer terminals. The technology was recently introduced in the biology labs at Mercyhurst North East and funded through a Perkins grant.