…I also learned things I never really understood after 30 years in nursing because the models allow you to visualize in 3-D and make more physiologic correlations. Thanks Zahourek.

Joleen Rinaldo, Secondary Med Prep Instructor, Northeastern Junior College, Sterling, CO

More Great Connections: STEMosphere and Meeting Dr. Jane Goodall

Posted by: ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System | Posted on: May 7th, 2013 | 0 Comments

By Jon Zahourek

Dr. Jane Goodall said “Wow!”

I met a hero last Friday night (May 3) at a reception and dinner for Jane Goodall.

Dr. Jane Goodall speaking at STEMosphere

In a delightful conversation with me, Dr. Goodall was gracious, gentle and low-key. I explained our approach to learning anatomy, which definitely seemed to resonate with her.

When she saw that I was having some difficulty in hearing her soft voice, she was sweet enough to draw me away from the crowd surrounding her. I mentioned that we were supporters of the Fossie Gorilla Fund—as well as her nonprofit organizations—and that we had given anatomical educational equipment to the Fossie group. Asked to clarify our work to her, I showed her a photo of my chimpanzee model, on which I’d built shoulder and arm musculature in clay. Her response was, “Wow!” Since she didn’t seem the kind of person prone to saying this very often, I was very pleased. As she slipped the photo into her purse, I offered to make the same kind of gift to her activities.

Teaching kids at STEMosphere about anatomy

She was in Denver for STEMosphere, an event at the University of Denver designed to bring attention to the growing importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in classrooms. (Of course, as an artist, I prefer the STEAM acronym, which adds the Arts in the middle of the whole mix, but it was a terrific event even without the emphasis on “A.”)

On Saturday, Dr. Goodall talked about her research in the Gombe National Stream Park of Tanzania to thousands of educator and students at The University of Denver event. Her empathy for the animal kingdom was clear, and she was articulate and compelling about encouraging empathy between humans and chimpanzees, as well as all the primates—even all other animals.

She wants us to learn more about the animals we share the planet with so we’ll do a better job taking care of them. In the process, we will become stewards of the planet as a whole.

Of course, Dr. Goodall is known mostly for studying chimpanzees as social beings, bringing wide attention to the idea that animals such as these have unique personalities. Among her other contributions, she has helped us see them as individual beings—with attitudes, thoughts, and feelings so like our own.

On the inside, there are few physical differences in how we’re put together. We’re all part of the Hominidae family—the

Comparing human and chimpanzee anatomy

“Great Apes”—along with gorillas and orangutans. In fact, the scientific name for chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, was coined from two extant hominid species of apes in the genus Pan, charmingly named for the Greek god of the forests.

After Dr. Goodall’s talk, students packed around three tables we set up as part of STEMosphere. They buzzed around for hours—eagerly applying clay to our chimpanzee models as they experienced the hands-on ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System.

One of the long-lasting and rewarding lessons learned through the study of anatomy is the same one Dr. Goodall has been imparting for decades:

We are all connected. We all share the same nest. We must all care for one another.

Special thanks to the entire STEMosphere team and the Carrie and John Morgridge, and their Family Foundation for putting on a wonderful weekend event.

Here are some more great photos from the STEMosphere event:

All images © 2013 Zahourek Systems Inc.




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