PORTAGE | Students in Tami Kepshire's anatomy and physiology II class at Portage High School didn't squirm or look away Thursday as they watched a forensic autopsy.
Some even munched on donuts.
It was the third time the students participated in videoconferencing of a medical procedure thanks to a grant from the Portage Township Education Foundation.
Previously, said Kepshire, students watched a total knee replacement and open heart surgeries. Thursday they, along with four other high schools across the country, watched an autopsy and asked questions of a resident in forensic pathology at Ohio State University Medical Center via videoconferencing. The program was presented by the Center of Science and Industry of Columbus, Ohio.
Kepshire said this was the first year for the second level class in anatomy and physiology.
"We wanted to take it a step further. We wanted to look at the disease process and how it works," she said.
The 13 seniors in the class, most of whom want to go into the medical field, already had viewed an autopsy in person at Porter Regional Hospital.
"This shows us what the real field is like," said Alex Becker.
"It gives you the real life experience instead of just taking notes," added Nicki Monahan.
"A lot of kids don't get to do near what we have done," said Samantha Hendron.
Kepshire said that was the point of taking the class one step further, to allow students to be interactive.
During the video conference of the autopsy, students were led step by step through the process. The goal was to use the information gathered during the autopsy to determine the cause of death.
As the pathologist removed each organ, dissecting it to determine if it was diseased, students took notes and asked Kepshire questions.
Following the nearly two hour procedure, said Kepshire, students would continue to analyze what they saw in specially designed post-autopsy activities.