Hello and welcome! The fact that you’ve found out blog means you have an interest in brains, bioimaging, 3D printing or a combination of all of the above. Or perhaps you’ve come here accidentally. Well, we hope you stay awhile!
In a nutshell, we are bringing the technology of 3D printing into the Classroom. Because many of us are comparative neuroanatomists (which means we explore variation in size and shape of the brain between different species), we have chosen to print geometrically accurate models of the brain from a wide range of animals, from a shark all the way up to a human. Embarking on this project will allow our students to handle, assess and measure neural features and get a true sense for the natural variation that exists in the brain – and some of the startling similarities. Further, by using 3D printing, we are reducing the need to sacrifice new animals and improving ongoing conservation efforts for rare and endangered species.
We are a team of researchers at The University of Western Australia with a passion for innovation in teaching. We aim to provide flexible learning tools that addresses three key components of effective teaching:
- mentally, visually, and emotionally engaging the students;
- fostering a learning environment that encourages critical thinking and heutagogical learning;
- instilling in students, through a cross-pollination of disciplines, that science is relevant, cutting edge & exciting.
If this is your first time visiting our blog, we recommend reading a bit of the detail behind our project, introducing you to our fabulous team of researchers, and telling you a bit about the courses we’re introducing some of these technologies into. Over the course of the next several months, we plan to introduce you to the field of comparative neuroanatomy and explain the process of creating a 3D printable object, from tissue acquisition and preparation; bioimaging, digital segmentation and mesh development; and 3D printing.
We encourage you to ask questions along the way and hopefully we can teach you a think or two about your own neuroanatomy!
Grateful for Support From
Centre for Education Futures Scholarship Program
Faculty of Science Teaching & Learning Strategic Fund Grant