Anatomy and Physiology students visit cadaver lab


Published with permission from Lisa Powell

West’s Anatomy and Physiology class poses on the campus of St. Ambrose before making discoveries at the cadaver lab.

Emma Bernick, Media Editor

On Thursday, May 10, the INSPIRE Anatomy and Physiology class took a field trip to St. Ambrose University to visit one of the school’s three cadaver labs. Dr. Neil Aschliman, who has been a biology professor at St. Ambrose for seven years, led the trip.

Students were able to “glove up” and touch the cadaver. The cadavers had been dissected by St. Ambrose students throughout the semester, so West students could see all of the organs separated and get a closer look of the inside of the brain, heart, etc.

“My favorite part of the trip was holding the cadaver’s brain. It was cool because I got to hold someone’s whole life, personality and memories in my hands,” junior Brooke Hildebrant said.

West is not the only school who has been provided this unique opportunity. Central’s Anatomy and Physiology class will be visiting the cadaver lab this semester as well.

“Just being able to step outside of the classroom and be in a university setting is valuable to students,” science teacher John Arnold said. “I think that the experience of seeing an actual body in front of you and seeing the full-structure is really powerful.”

When cadavers are sent to the St. Ambrose lab, the professor is only given the age, gender and probable cause of death. The rest is left for the undergraduate students to discover. The cadaver that West students looked at had a pacemaker, which undergrad students discovered early this semester.

“I thought it was interesting how the cause of death and so many forensic clues could be discovered from just looking at the body. I also thought it was cool to see the true colors of organs like the gallbladder and be able to feel the weight of the lungs and heart,” senior Derrick Olcott said.