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Industry partnership with Anatomics opens new pathways for students at Wesley

The future has well and truly arrived at Wesley College. Senior School students are studying human anatomy, designing and researching prosthetic implants to help solve medical problems in an exciting new subject called ‘Build a body part’ – and they’re using the latest technology to do it.

Year 10 students research prosthetic implants as part of an exciting new subject called ‘Build a Body Part’
Enhancing learning with real-world experiences

In ‘Build a body part’ students are given a medical case study, and mimic part of the process of diagnosis and treatment of real cranial and thoracic issues. AnatomicsRx's Diversity learning portal allowed students to review data on the patient’s profile, medical scans and 3D patient files and design a solution. Students have been designing prosthetic implants, such as a piece of skull or a sternum, evaluating the suitability of different materials and engineering it for 3D printing. The software was designed specifically for students by Anatomics, a Melbourne-based medical manufacturer, with feedback from Wesley teachers. Students even had the opportunity to visit the Anatomics factory to see how and what they produce.

Kasia said, ‘We learnt so much from Anatomics that was really useful for our own project. It was much easier being there and seeing the process firsthand, rather than just learning about it in the classroom.’

'It has opened my eyes to the real-life problems and medical issues people experience,’ said Isabelle. ‘It’s important to learn about how technology can be used to enhance people’s lives alongside medical solutions.

The subject – designed for Year 10 students in the final year of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB MYP) – blends biology, technology, maths, design and innovation and challenges students to test their critical thinking and apply their skills to solve complex medical problems. The IB encourages cross-disciplinary learning by making connections between traditional subjects and the real world to help students become critical and reflective thinkers.

Illuminating future career pathways

The Build a Body Part’ subject taps into students’ growing interest in the field of biomedical engineering - a $6.1 billion industry which has huge growth capacity in Australia – and introduces advanced biomedical engineering to secondary school students.

The visit to Anatomics made students aware of an industry that they were previously unaware of. ‘After we visited Anatomics, it opened up our minds to the different career pathways available. I wasn’t aware of the huge industry behind the design and manufacturing of implants, but now it’s something I may consider as a career path,’ said Jack.

‘STEM industries play a pivotal role in addressing some of the world’s largest challenges such as climate change, healthcare and cybersecurity, just to name a few. Keeping students engaged in STEM broadens the pipeline for future innovators, scientists and researchers to help address these pressing issues,’ said Andrew Vyas, VP of Software Engineering at AnatomicsRx. ‘We highly value our partnership with Wesley and we hope the students gain an understanding of how advanced manufacturing is being used within the Australian MedTech sector and how it’s helping thousands of people around the world.’

This term, students will simulate a start-up pitch night, giving presentations and pitching for investors to fund their medical start-ups. It’s a new challenge for students, but one that they will have the skills to meet. And who knows, it may be the first of many pitches in their careers.