Don Tyson School of Innovation

The Arkansas Department of Education has awarded Don Tyson School of Innovation a $130,720 grant.

The Perkin's Innovation Grant has been awarded to improve and expand the school’s Medical Professions program of study, said Kelly Boortz, Don Tyson School of Innovation principal.

The grant will go toward purchasing equipment such as an Anatomage Table, phlebotomy arms, electrocardiogram machines and mobile medical computer carts, Boortz said.

“DTSOI students will have use of an Anatomage Table, which is the world's first virtual dissection table,” said Kelley Williamson, Springdale Public Schools Career and Technical Education Coordinator. “Students in Biology and Anatomy and Physiology will be able to view the body as a cadaver.”

Anatomage Tables include digital imagery of healthy male and female people who donated their bodies to science, according to the Anatomage website. The tables allow students to see the body anatomies in great detail.

Such high-tech tools increase student engagement, Williamson said.

“The Anatomage table will really bring students together in discussing the body and how it works,” Williamson said. “I envision great conversations to take place with students at the table as students gain curiosity as to how their bodies work, how to help people with medical issues and medicine's effects on the body. Teachers will be able to inspire students to look closer and understand more effectively the ten systems of the body.”

The training equipment will help students prepare for high-demand medical professions in Northwest Arkansas that include certified nursing assistants, phlebotomists, medical interpreters, pharmacy technicians and emergency medical responders, Boortz said.

“We have strong partnerships with our medical community and post-secondary institutions, and we have worked with them to align our programs to provide entry-level positions and internships for students,” Boortz said. “This grant will allow us to provide the training our students need onsite at DTSOI for high-demand, high-skill and high-wage careers.”