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Friday, March 21, 2014

Highlands A.P. Anatomy Students Head and Shoulders Ahead of the Game


Students from Jean Becker’s Anatomy and Physiology class at Highlands High School got the opportunity to see what they have been learning all year in their textbooks come to life on March 5, at the Beacon Orthopaedics Learning Center in Sharonville, Ohio.

The High School Bio-Skill Lab and Lecture consists of an in-class guest lecture and a cadaver dissection lab.


Under the tutelage of Dr. Glen McClung and his staff of physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners, the Highlands students were able to practice real world medical scenarios on cadavers.

“When I was in Jr. High, our teachers introduced us to practical matters in math and science-related fields. We would study math and think ‘why am I studying this?’ Then we would spend a day with architects and see how they utilized what we were studying in real life. It made sense,” said McClung. “With this state-of-the-art facility, maybe the students will form an idea of a career path they may want to take.”

The 2,800 square foot learning facility includes a 40-seat classroom, wet lab, locker room, and a dining and reception area. The wet lab is designed to accommodate up to four inanimate cadaver workstations for teaching, training, and research. Outfitted with state-of-the art audiovisual equipment with connectivity to both the wet lab and Beacon’s in-house ambulatory surgery center, the learning center provides a perfect setting for a productive interactive teaching experience.

“We use the lab for cutting edge procedures in our practice so that we can continue to practice and have reproducible results,” said McClung. “This is something that these students won’t forget.”

Trey Jurgens and Dr. Glen McClung

The Beacon Orthopaedic Lecture and Lab has been in existence for almost 3 years and includes fourteen different schools. Highlands is the first school in Kentucky to get to utilize the facility.

Trey Jurgens, Marketing Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator at Beacon and 2008 Highlands graduate, was instrumental in connecting Beacon and Highlands. “This program is such a great opportunity for high school students. It gives them a very unique learning experience. As soon as I began working on this program I knew it would be a perfect fit for Highlands," said Jurgens.

When Jurgens approached Highlands Principal Brian Robinson and Becker with the opportunity, she said they jumped at the chance.

“Of course we wanted to be apart of it!” said Becker, who has a BS in Biology  “This experience is something that these kids will not get until Medical School. The kids actually got to make the first incision. They got to name the muscles and ligaments. They were able to scope the knee. The spark that (Dr. McClung) is lighting in these kids will hopefully carry them in their undergraduate work. Hopefully when they take those tough courses, they’ll remember this experience and keep climbing that mountain.”

Seniors Anna Bardgett and Ellie New were two of the 24 students who made the trip to Beacon’s Sharonville office. They both have family members that are in the medical profession.

Jean Becker, Ellie New and Anna Bardgett
“It sounds weird, but when I walked in a saw the cadaver legs that we would be working and learning on, I didn’t believe they were real,” said New. “It’s completely different seeing it in real life and seeing it in a book or a video. It’s going to be great prep for college.”

Bardgett agreed. “I was really excited to be able to participate in this lab. Not many people get this experience and made me want to pursue a medical education even more.”

So how did the Highlands students fare in the lab?


“Highlands has a smart group of kids,” said McClung. “They asked great questions and were extremely interactive. I believe this experience really opened their eyes to another world.”

Taylor Mitchell and Jon Michael Griffith

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