Chicago Math and Science Academy relishing interactive STEM opportunities with new 3-D science table

When Chicago Math and Science Academy bought a state-of-the-art Anatomage table in January, it envisioned students immersing themselves with the world of science in a way they hadn’t been able to before.  

That vision has played out over the last few months as CMSA’s students and faculty have already seen the benefits of this new interactive learning experience. The table allows them to work through virtual dissections and case studies while offering digitized, multi-layered cadavers where students can learn how the human body functions. 

“The table has changed the way I learn about science because I’m very much a hands-on learner,” said CMSA student Jamia Johnson. “Being able to see the table and being able to do things hands on has really helped me understand the materials we are learning instead of just reading it out of a textbook.” 

The table by Anatomage, a company that develops health care technology used in clinics and hospitals around the world, is versatile on many levels. It can explore the depths of the human body such as comparing the differences between a normal heartbeat and an irregular one, simulate childbirth and much more. 

Students are learning by doing––which is a hallmark of the Concept Schools model, where hands-on experiences in STEM education are key.

“This has helped us be more interactive [with their work] because we can actually see things 3-D instead of just reading a textbook,” said CMSA student Sophia Gutierrez. “We have been able to break down our systems, read definitions and explanations. (It) not only shows us the different parts of the body but it shows us injuries and illnesses that come with the different systems so we can create diagnoses.”  

CMSA science teacher Faith Rodriguez first heard about the table from a former colleague who gave glowing reviews of it. Shortly after, Rodriguez proposed that the school look into the possibility of getting one for CMSA which it was able to quickly pull off after strong fundraising efforts (the table costs close to $100,000).

Rodriguez believes this is just the beginning of what the table will be able to do for the school and its students.

“With a normal cadaver, you would have to have them replaced every year and it could make the school smell a little bit,” said Rodriguez. “Here, you can reuse it and make 3-D dissections without having to visit the cadaver lab. It’s cost effective and the students can work collaboratively which I find very beneficial.” 


According to CMSA’s head of Community Engagement and Public Relations Irene Bermudez, CMSA is the only public charter school in Chicago that has an Anatomage table. Northwestern University has incorporated the table into its medical program along with RUSH University and others. 

Students are not only making the most out of their time in the lab––they’re having fun doing it. 

“It’s really fun because you learn stuff and then you apply it to tests and projects,” said Johnson. “You can click on different things and really focus in on what you’re learning. It’s very fun.” 

Check out our video to see the table and students in action. 

Chicago Math and Science Academy is a public charter school managed by the award-winning Concept Schools.

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