Our Courses

Our Courses - 3D Printing in the Classroom

Why is it important to print 3D printing technology into the classroom? Students have clearly expressed their desire for more “hands on” modes of learning. However, there are challenges in satisfying this desire when animal tissues are involved such as

  1. Ethical issues associated with using animal material (especially rare or endangered species) for teaching;
  2. Real brains are fragile, even when preserved, and extensive handling results in damage and degradation;
  3. The expense of collecting this important tissue for each cohort of students on an ongoing basis;
  4. the risks of exposing students to the fixatives used to preserve brain tissue and
  5. the small size of some of the brains that prevents close investigation and hampers our ability to indicate important structures.

Developing a collection of 3D-printed brains will overcome these challenges and provide attractive and robust specimens that can be handled and used for teaching within the Neuroscience Major and a range of Masters Specialisations (with the potential to be used in the biomedical sciences) for years. Our project will be used to improve the student experience in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching by curating both knowledge and content. Our 3D- printed, geometrically accurate brains will contribute to learning outcomes in:

Undergraduate: ANIM3320 Comparative Neurobiology: This 3rd year course deals with the development and mature organisation of the nervous system in a wide range of animals. The unit examines the complex wiring of the brain and how this organisation relates to an animal’s behaviour, ecology and environmental needs. (Unit Coordinator: Assoc/Prof Jennifer Rodger)

Postgraduate: BIOL5505 Marine Neuroecology and Behaviour: This 4th and 5th year course explores the central and peripheral nervous systems of a range of aquatic animals (invertebrates, cartilaginous fishes, bony fishes, and marine mammals). The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the neurobiology of marine animals, with emphasis on sensory ecology and behaviour. (Unit Coordinator: Prof Shaun Collin)


Interested in Learning more about the Project? Read all about it here.
Want to learn more about our Team of Researchers? Meet them here.


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