Students create art to learn science

PULLMAN – Student’s in anatomy and speech production lab take a creative approach to learning the muscles.
Play-Doh. Crayons. A plain-white t-shirt. These are among the many
creative course materials Amy Meredith, assistant professor of speech
and hearing sciences, uses in lab.
“Now that I get to have a lab, I’ve got to keep thinking creatively,” she said.
For the past two years, students in Meredith’s Anatomy of Speech
Production Lab 377 have drawn and colored human muscles on the
outside of their plain-white t-shirts. Meredith said she got the idea from
the popular skull t-shirts she sees student’s wearing on campus.
“It just hit me,” she said. “Ohh, if I have students draw their muscles on
themselves maybe they’ll learn it a little better and remember.”
(Photo:  Amy Meredith, center, with students Matthew Sandoval and Selena Galvinez.)
Meredith strives to include hands-on-models in lab.
“The more models you use the more the students learn,” she said. “Everyone is very enthusiastic about this particular assignment. Students kept asking if they could wear the t-shirts for the exam.” 
Even though it’s a creative assignment, the same academic standards of homework apply.
Points are deducted for improper location, and missing muscles Meredith said. However, artistic ability isn’t required. 
“If you’re not artistic, you’re not going to get dinged for that,” she said.
So what else is in store for this one-of-a-kind lab?
“Last week we made Play-Doh vertebra, today we’re blowing up balloons and getting vital capacity,” Meredith said.