Friday, 16 January 2015

Extending Learning Through a Unique Field Trip

On Tuesday, December 2, the Grade 12 Exercise Science and Grade 12 Biology classes traveled to the University of Guelph to visit the Human Anatomy and Exercise Physiology laboratories. 

In the Human Anatomy Laboratory, our students had the privilege to learn human anatomy using body donors. Studying the structures of the human body in this environment is unsurpassed by any other learning tool. Students explored the structures and functions of the muscular-skeletal system, the nervous system, the cardio-respiratory system, and the urinary/reproductive systems. This field trip challenged students academically by teaching them the anatomy of the human body in real form, rather than studying diagrams in a text book.

At each station, students investigated and were verbally tested on the anatomical properties of each human system mentioned above. For example, in the urinary/reproductive station, students could observe the location of the kidneys in the human body and how the ureters attach to the bladder. In female specimens, they could also make the connection between the bladder and the uterus and why pregnant women need to urinate often!

Students made real life connections such as these at each station, which were led by fourth-year Human Kinetics students who created a safe learning environment and gave our students an idea of the academic depth needed at the postsecondary level.

The specimens in the Human Anatomy Laboratory have come from people who have graciously donated their bodies for the betterment of science and education and thus granted us an immeasurable privilege. We would like to extend our utmost thanks for this learning opportunity they provided for us.

After the Human Anatomy Laboratory, we traveled to the Exercise Physiology Laboratory to learn about three physiology tests: the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2Max) test, the maximal anaerobic power (Wingate) test, and a body composition test. Students had the choice to complete any of these tests, which are normally completed by third-year Human Kinetics students.

In the VO2Max Test, students ride on a bike while progressively increasing the intensity and measuring ventilation and oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of the inhaled and exhaled air. VO2Max is reached when oxygen consumption remains at a steady state despite an increase in workload.

The Wingate Test is used to measure peak power and anaerobic capacity. These two values are important indicators in sports that require quick, all-out efforts, such as a hockey shift, a football game or the sprints needed in Ultimate Frisbee.

These tests challenged students both physically and academically, as they were able to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to real life situations. Students actively completed at least one of the three tests. Also, the University of Guelph post-graduate students demonstrated the knowledge and interest needed to succeed at the post-graduate level.

Carla DiFilippo
Director of Athletics

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