Physiology kits enhance biology department

May 5, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - UW-Platteville's biology department has purchased three iWorx Teaching Kits and is looking to purchase two more by the end of this semester. These kits contain computer-interfaced bioamplifiers for analyzing physiological phenomena that will help students and faculty have a better understanding of interactive physiology.

The interactive physiology kits monitor the physiology processes by measuring the electrical activity given off by living organisms. These kits will allow students to record the electrical activity given off by the heart, muscles and brain. Along with recording electrical activity, the kits can measure the oxygen taken in and the carbon dioxide released by the lungs and body.

Being able to measure and study the physiological processes hands-on will provide students an invaluable experience. Conducting electrocardiograms (ECGs or EKGs) of other students or themselves will increase the students' interest in biology classes and provide an in-depth knowledge base of how a healthy human body functions. Demonstrating the functions of interactive physiology by using the teaching kits in the classroom also gives students valuable experiences to take with them into the workforce.

Students in anatomy and physiology, human biology and advanced physiology classes are currently facilitating the interactive physiology kits. The biology department is looking to implement the use of the kits in other classes such as zoology and botany. The kits provide a hands-on learning experience that is available for use by any students or faculty.

Funding for a portion of the kits was provided in part by the UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Fund, which awarded nearly $45,000 for 15 grants this year.

The UWP Foundation initiated the fund program in 1998-99, and the total number of grants thus far is 86, with a total monetary value of $411,000.

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