Taking health classes to the next level

FDSH to have most advanced teaching tool

-Submitted photo
An Iowa Central Community College student uses one of the new Anatomage tables to learn human anatomy.

A nearly six-month quest has finally come to completion and Fort Dodge Senior High School will be getting a next-generation teaching tool for the next school year.

Health Occupations teacher Kiley O’Leary approached Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation President Nik Moser about purchasing an Anatomage Table for use in the high school medical classes. The foundation board agreed to give half the funds for the table, but tasked Moser with securing the other half.

Finally, all the needed donations have been secured and the table will be purchased and should be in O’Leary’s classroom by the fall.

“This table will provide so many benefits for students,” she said. “Our students are a new type of learner and providing a way to play to their strengths is key in their learning. They will be able to have hands-on abilities to learn topics that until now was not easily attainable. This table will take away some of the barriers to learning different types of sciences if you are a hands-on learner.”

The Anatomage Table is the most technologically advanced 3D anatomy visualization and virtual dissection tool for anatomy and physiology education, according to the company’s website. It will allow Fort Dodge Senior High to have the most advanced technology in the state.

-Submitted photo
Josh Calvert, left, and Mike Johnson, right, present Fort Dodge Community School Foundation Director Nik Moser with a $10,000 check toward the purchase of an Anatomage Table for Fort Dodge Senior High. The donation from Calvert and Johnson Insurance was the final one needed to reach the $60,000 in matching funds from the foundation.

The cost of the table is $120,000. After the Foundation board agreed to fund $60,000, Moser received donations from four different entities to complete the purchase.

Donations were received from Calvert and Johnson Insurance in Fort Dodge, Iowa Central Community College, UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center of Fort Dodge, and Dr. Joseph Schmoker and his wife, Tracy (Hurdel) Schmoker, of Missoula, Montana – both Fort Dodge graduates.

“I was so excited when I learned that the funds were secured,” said O’Leary. “It’s the realization that all my time and research had paid off. I’m so proud to be a Dodger. I am not originally from this community, but in the past couple years, I have had the greatest support in building the health occupations program at Senior High. The community connections have strengthened this program into what it is and what it is going to be. The opportunities that are being given to students here are beyond what other programs are doing because of the amazing support of our local health care businesses, workers and donors that keep this program thriving.”

O’Leary said she has already started being a part of some virtual training. She will also be attending an in-person training that will be at the headquarters for the Anatomage Tables. The creators of the table will put her through lessons so she can demonstrate all the things that the table can do. She will also continue taking virtual training throughout the summer and next year.

“This table is going to be a staple of my classroom lessons starting next year,” she said. “I am excited to be able to jump start next year with this amazing new resource.”

-Photo by Shawna Sherrell/Gettysburg College
Students at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, apply their learning through use of an Anatomage Table.

When the table is finally purchased, Senior High will be just one of three schools in the state to have one. However, the particular table that will be purchased will be the most advanced in the state for high school classes.

The $60,000 grant is the second biggest award for one project in the foundation’s history, and the biggest one given to one school. The foundation also granted $120,000 for the Leader in Me curriculum used by the entire district.

“Our board looked at it and realized it’s going to impact a lot of high school kids now and then middle school kids once they get to the high school,” Moser said. ” And it’s something that will make our high school stand out from others in the state. It will have a huge impact on our district. We’re thankful for all the organizations and individuals that stepped up to help with this project.”

O’Leary said the table will be an immeasurable benefit to her health occupations classes and will allow her to create additional classes for her program that are not yet offered.

The table can also be used in animal science classes, other high school science classes and even in an Emergency Medical Technician class O’Leary would like to start.

“I just want to say thank you (to the donors) for investing in this program and our students. They are our future and the more opportunities we can give them, the more invested and prepared they will be,” O’Leary added. “I am so grateful that our community has been so instrumental in making this dream of mine a reality. I am so appreciative of the community of Fort Dodge.”


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