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Idaho State University

Treasure Valley anatomy labs host one-of-a kind workshop for teachers

August, 9, 2019

MERIDIAN—Sixteen health science educators took a rare journey through the human body at an anatomy workshop Aug. 8, hosted by Idaho State University-Meridian faculty and staff at the L.S. and Aline Skaggs Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Laboratories.

Treasure Valley anatomy labs host one-of-a kind workshop for teachers

Educational program coordinator, Dr. Padma Gadepally, stands at table where teachers are examining the heart and lungs. 

The workshop was offered during the three-day Idaho Career and Technical Education annual conference in Boise. Attendees, including high school and college instructors from around the state, toured the Virtual Anatomy Laboratory before heading to the Gross Anatomy lab to  examine multiple body systems, including the heart and lungs, bones and joints, and brain. Gross anatomy refers to the structure of organs and tissues that are visible to the naked eye.

TVAPL educational program coordinator, Dr. Padma  Gadepally, said the workshop afforded teachers the opportunity to touch and examine specimens directly instead of relying on textbooks and models to articulate the information to students.

“The goal was to give teachers the opportunity to increase their core competency and make them more confident and knowledgeable in the classroom,” Gadepally said.

The workshop did just that for Irene Maxfield, who teaches dental fundamentals to juniors and seniors in the Boise School District. “If I could take one thing back to share with my students it would be the enthusiasm of the ISU instructors,” she said, noting a teacher’s enthusiasm for the subject matter is key to student success and career development.

On a personal note, Maxfield said the opportunity to handle human specimens gave her a “reverence for the beauty of human creation. We are amazing and can’t take that for granted,” she said.

The state-of-the-art Treasure Valley Anatomy and Physiology Laboratories opened in 2015 and the university recently expanded the Gross Anatomy Laboratory to accommodate more users.     

“One of the long term goals at TVAPL has been to reach out to health and science educators around the state and develop programs for teacher education,” said Lorinda Smith, TVAPL manager and clinical assistant professor. “This (the workshop) was an opportunity for ISU to contribute toward potentially improving health professions  eucation as a whole, throughout the state,” she added. 

Learn more about the labs at


Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral high research activity university and teaching institution founded in 1901, attracts students from around the world to its Idaho campuses. At the main campus in Pocatello, and at locations in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, ISU has nine Colleges, a Graduate School and a Division of Health Sciences that together offer more than 250 certificate and degree programs. More than 12,000 students attend ISU. Idaho State University is the state's designated lead institution in health professions.