Encouraging the development of discipline based student organizations is a high impact practice that that improves student success. An off shoot from the Animal Anatomy and Physiology curriculum at Cal Poly Pomona was the development of an undergraduate student group calling themselves the Skeletal Anatomic Reconstructionists (SkAR). The SkAR student group focused on the cleaning/preparation, articulation and display of vertebrate anatomic specimens, most often skeletons. The creation of a student club, also provided the students with access to campus resources and funding for student organizations. Members of the group maintained university dermestid beetle colonies, and conducted experiments to improve the care and efficiency of carcass skeletonization. Others focused on the anatomic identification of bone remnants and the rearticulation of those into specimens. Through this process, students not only became aware of anatomic differences between species, but they also explored the biomechanics of animal posture and balance. The finished specimens produced by SkAR were then put on display by the department and were used as teaching tools in the Animal Anatomy and Physiology. The educational value of this organization thereby benefits not only the students within SkAR, but generations of students in the department. Another topic tackled by the group was the creation of latex skin models to be used for suture skill practicing. Students were excited to learn and explore the integumentary system, because of extrinsic validation and tangible benefit they received for their efforts. This novel discipline-based student organizations has the potential to inspire others in the biological sciences to create group projects that foster student engagement in the curriculum.

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