The human cell: A pumpkin’s Halloween costume?

female student by pumpkin with human cell labels and descriptions

Know what Cytoplasm or the Endoplasmic Reticulum is? How about Ribosomes and Golgi complex?

Cue the crickets!

Now, how about pizza … or pumpkins … or a fish bowl?!  Know anything about those items?

Of course you do!

Brian Turner, our EMS/Paramedic Instructor and Program Director, is using those common items to give his students a fundamental understanding of some of the most complex parts of the human body.

“As you are probably aware, the human cell is the basis for everything that takes place in the human body.  Having a clear understanding of the normal structure (anatomy) of a human cell, as well how the cell is supposed to function (physiology) makes it much easier to understand some of what takes place when there are problems (pathophysiology) at the cellular level,” Turner said.

emt-human-cell-projects-web-4There are several different options for teaching this topic, but Turner didn’t think having the students read or view hand-outs would be the best learning experience.  His desire was to find a way to make the learning active or kinesthetic in this portion of the course.

Hence, the Human Cell Model Projects.

“There was a bit of resistance on the part of the students initially to a project of this nature.  However, as evidenced by their projects, they really seemed to embrace the assignment.  I was extremely impressed with the level of ingenuity and creativity used by the students in creating their cell models,” Turner said, adding “As a whole, the students did well on their exams regarding this topic, so I was pleased with the amount of learning that occurred.  I’m hoping the physical activity and the kinesthetic experience will work to increase retention of the information as we move forward.”

To learn more about our EMT, paramedic or other programs of study here at Moraine Park, visit

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