Scope for growth

Hi everyone. Its Etta here.

I will be at the  George Marshall Medical Museum and The Infirmary and my role is to explore ways of incorporating STEM subjects into the educational programme. ‘STEM’ is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They are core aspects of the National Curriculum and of great importance to our increasingly scientific and technological society. As such there is a recognised need to champion the subjects and to provide learners with real-life situations where STEM subjects are applicable. One prime example is medicine and healthcare. Take the radiographer: a role that involves both a thorough understanding of human anatomy and a capacity to work with highly technologically advanced equipment.

The museum environment can offer a historical perspective and show how technologies have enabled medical practitioners throughout history. From the 19th century monaural stethoscope to modern day remote surgery; design, technology and engineering have been the driving force behind medical advancement. On the other hand, the obstetric forceps have changed very little in design since their first use in the 16th century. The potential to explore STEM subjects within a medical museum is great and the possibilities seem almost endless.

Monaural stethoscope MBI007

Monaural Stethoscope on display at The Infirmary (MBI007)

During my first few weeks I have been getting to know the fascinating collection held at the George Marshall. I’ve been looking through a set of anatomical depictions. From autopsical drawings to lift-the-flap school books the collection demonstrates the absolute starting point of medicine: knowing how the body works. The images are also, quite frankly, eerily captivating.

Autopsical Drawing

Autopsical Drawing, George Marshall Medical Museum

Educational Anatomy

Educational Pamphlet, George Marshall Medical Museum

They are my launch pad for a workshop on ‘scopes’. Microscopy, endoscopy, fluoroscopy; all are technologies developed to investigate inside the body. The aim of the workshop will be to enable students to understand what has gone before and imagine where technology could take medicine next. Creating a workshop will require planning, a pilot and an evaluation process to address whether it meets the needs of students. It will be an exciting challenge and one that I’m looking forward to.

Thanks for reading,

Etta Griffiths

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