Archive - March 2013


The state of Oklahoma has come to embrace the concept, training and equipment for Anatomy in Clay® (Learning System), by Zahourek Systems, Inc. over the past three years…Nearly fifty school districts have implemented the system into their Anatomy and Physiology education and feedback from students and educators alike is extremely positive.

Lara Skaggs, Oklahoma Program Manager, Health Careers Education

Mini Lesson #3: Practice Directional Terms – Distal & Proximal

Anatomical directional terms provide a common method of communication that are used to describe the locations of structures in relation to other structures or locations in the body.


Distal:  Away from, farther from the origin
Proximal:  Near, closer to the origin

  1. Using clay, have students place a yellow, green and blue dot anywhere on the arm of their MANIKEN® model.
  2. Fill in the blank with the terms PROXIMAL or DISTAL to complete the following statements:
    • Yellow is ______________ in reference to green.
    • Green is   ______________ in reference to blue.
    • Blue is      ______________  in reference to yellow

NOTE: This activity can be modified for teaching and/or reinforcing the directional terms:

    • inferior/superior
    • medial/lateral
    • anterior/posterior

How Do You Get Middle School Students Interested in Health Careers?

This week we interviewed Sharon Bruno, M.Ed., NBCT from Punta Gorda Middle School in Punta Gorda, Florida.  She was recently awarded the 2013 ITEEA Teacher of Excellence Award for a Middle School STEM Lab in the state of Florida! Sharon teaches Grade 8 Career Education and Technology in a hi-tech STEM Lab and has been using the ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System for the last three years.

In her classroom, Sharon created a “Station” titled Anatomy and Myology. And it’s popular–she reports that students eagerly wait in line for a chance to sign up for their turn. The station hosts MANIKEN® Student Models which when divided in half, enable students to share a single model as well as engage in positive group work.

The learning methodology at the Anatomy Station involves first viewing the MYOLOGIK® Atlas CD to gain a visual and conceptual understanding of the muscular system. Students then follow step-by-step instructions and proceed to label the bones with pencil, then clay-build the muscles onto the skeletal MANIKEN® Models.

Previous to the STEM Lab experience, many students had only viewed 2-dimensional representations of anatomy such as in a textbook or a photo. Bruno shares that the students dramatically increase their awareness of and enthusiasm for anatomy through the hands-on discovery and tactile exploration inherent with the Learning System.

One reason Sharon believes it is vitally important for children in middle school to study anatomy is because many of the kids are at a stage in their lives when they are just beginning to consider careers. The students’ experiences with the in-depth anatomy study often spark them to become interested in the medical field and other health sciences.

Why do you think it is important for children in middle school to study human anatomy?

Mini Lesson #2: Learn Muscle Rules – Muscles Work in Antagonist Pairs

©Copyright Zahourek Systems™ 2013. All rights reserved.

Here is Mini Lesson #2:

1.) Antagonistic muscle pairs are necessary because muscles can only do work by contracting or pulling, and cannot push themselves back into their original positions. Antagonist describes a muscle that acts in opposition to the specific movement generated by the agonist and works to return a limb to its initial position.

Antagonistic muscle pairs are located on opposite sides of a joint or bone. An example of this kind of muscle pairing is the biceps brachii and triceps brachii. When the biceps contracts, the triceps relaxes and stretches back to its original position; the opposite occurs when the triceps contracts.

2.) Reference the ANATOMY IN CLAY® MYOLOGIK® Atlas or Teacher’s Guide for instructions for building biceps brachii and triceps brachii using clay.

View Mini Lesson #1 Identifying Biological Structures of the Brain

Anatomy Study & Bodywork: Where Rational Thought Meets Healing

This week we interviewed Mike Conlon, Anatomy and Physiology instructor at the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, MA—where the ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System has been in use for over twenty years! The program incorporates our learning system as part of their strategy to utilize as many teaching tools as possible to meet the varied learning styles of their students.

Each student is required to purchase their own MANIKEN® Model, enabling them to learn the skeletal system, build muscular anatomy, as well as engage in ongoing study after graduation. For the anatomy course, students build approximately 100 muscles and incorporate a color system to represent deep, intermediate and superficial muscles. Building in this way helps set a foundation for massage technique classes later in the year.

Students come into the program with a wide range of experience. Many possess detailed knowledge and understanding of Anatomy and Physiology from professional healthcare backgrounds while others come to Bancroft as neophytes.

Mike notes that the muscle building out of clay gives students an appreciation and understanding of skeletal muscle anatomy that they do not get from two-dimensional media such as textbooks or digital resources.

Further, Mike shares that “as an instructor, this teaching method is an invaluable tool. Even students who already have an anatomy background, appreciate this additional method of study.”

But besides the knowledge gained through anatomy study, Mike views body awareness as playing an important role in healing. He goes on to say:

“It is my experience that a better understanding of the human body and its functioning helps people (clients) become more involved in their healthcare. I truly believe that knowledge is power. When a client can bring rational thought and understanding to a healthcare issue…this can help to relieve related stress and anxiety surrounding their recovery. In my experience, as stress and anxiety are lessened, the body’s own recuperative abilities seem to be heightened.”


For those of you who are bodywork professionals, how do you use the ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System?

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