GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Learning just leveled up at Saint Francis Catholic Academy this spring, and it’s all with the swipe of a finger.
The Catholic high school just received its new “Anatomage” digital table this past December.
The sleek white table fits nicely in a room stocked with LED screens and 3D printers. Now the Saint Francis Catholic Academy can join the small list of schools in Florida to have this digital table.
It offers an interactive learning experience for students by providing detailed images of anatomical systems. Different functions allow the teacher to digitally slice open an animal to see its skeleton, muscles or nervous systems.
In the school’s computer lab, each workstation comes equipped with a screen that mirrors what the teacher is demonstrating on the Anatomage.
Cassidy Gourley, a biology and marine science teacher, uses the table to give students a more hands-on learning experience.
“I think it gives the students more of a deeper understanding of the concepts,” Gourley said. “There’s definitely a difference between reading about something on a textbook page and actually taking it apart and putting it together on a table.”
To a small class of ninth-graders, their world is shifting to technology, and Gourley believes it will catch the students’ interests.
Jonas Gonzalez, 15, is a ninth-grader at Saint Francis, and the table offers him a way to experience a realistic model.
“I like how we can see what we’re learning in class in an actual 3D model, instead of just seeing it on TV, we can actually move it around and see what’s inside,” Gonzalez said.
School administrators have only recently finished installing the table, so Gourley is still undergoing training.
Thanks to a donation drive in October, the school was able to raise enough money to buy the $63,000 table, according to school principal Jason Acosta.
Acosta hopes the University of Florida professors or UF Health doctors can speak to the classes and present using the Anatomage table.