General Cadaver Demonstration (Pre-Thanksgiving Rate Available)

by  Adventures In Medicine & Science (AIMS) Program of Saint Louis University

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The body consists of numerous organ systems that are interrelated; the function and interaction of these systems is closely regulated. These issues will be discussed during this videoconference. In basic terms, disease results in system deregulation. Students will learn how disease in one organ system will inevitably negatively impact other organ systems while interacting with a medical professional working with a cadaver. With a strong knowledge base in human anatomy and physiology, students will be better equipped to discuss health concerns with their physicians in the future.

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $285.00
By Request Premium: $225.00

For programs scheduled to be completed before Thanksgiving Day, a reduced fee of $205.00 will apply.


1 hour for high school students

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 9, 10, 11, 12, Teacher(s)/Educator(s)

Minimum participants:

No minimum

Maximum participants:

There is no maximum, but for optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 30-40 students.

Primary Disciplines

Health/Physical Education, Sciences

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

AIMS Distance Learning Programs are SOLD OUT for the 23-24 School Year. AIMS will begin scheduling programs for the 2024-25 school year on August 15, 2024.

Sorry, this program is not currently available. To inquire about future availability, please contact Adventures In Medicine & Science (AIMS) Program of Saint Louis University

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Adventures In Medicine & Science will not charge for programs cancelled due to weather related problems, such as snow days.

The full fee for Adventures in Medicine & Science: Cadaver Demonstration will be charged to sites if they cancel with less than 1 week notice.

Adventures In Medicine & Science (AIMS) delivers interactive programs in health and anatomy education to students, utilizing human specimens to provide a unique look at the human body. AIMS is an outreach program of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Ray Vollmer

Program Details


Time Required: 60 minutes

Materials and Preparation:

1. Videoconferencing equipment.
2. Human Cadaver that has been properly dissected to show musculature, and the following organ systems: circulatory, digestive, urinary, endocrine, and respiratory.
3. Long forceps for identifying structures.


1. Before unveiling the cadaver, discuss with the students the importance of the cadaver in medical education. Discuss the body donor program and the basics of the embalming process. This is an appropriate time to inform the students that the face will remain covered and that the blood has been drained from the cadaver. Discuss the importance of discretion and respect in regards to the cadaver as it represents an individual who has given the ultimate gift, the gift of themselves, so that others might learn.

2. Upper and Lower Limb: these areas are easily approached by the students and are a good way to get them to begin interacting and asking questions. Start with the arm and ask the students to name the major muscles of the limbs. Include a discussion about carpal tunnel syndrome, demonstrating the path of the flexor tendons as they travel distally and insert on the fingers, and covering the basic procedure of carpal tunnel surgery. Approach the leg similarly include a demonstration of the knee joint and a discussion of knee injury to include tears of the ACL, MCL, LCL and menisci.
Upper Limb--
Lower Limb- femur, iliac crest, tibia, fibula, calcaneus, talus, navicular, quadriceps-rectus femorus, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralus, sartorius, tensor fasciae latae, illiotibial band, tibialis anterior, peroneus longus and brevis, gastrocnemius, soleus, flexors and extensor digitorum longus, femoral artery, vein and nerve, sciatic nerve.

3. Thoracic Cavity: Begin by discussing the borders of the thoracic cavity. Point out the diaphragm and explain how contraction of this dome shaped structure pulls the lungs open. Demonstrate on the posterior side of the chest plate the intercostal muscles. Discuss how the intercostal muscles are not used during relaxed breathing. Point out the trachea and cover the pathway of air into the lungs down to the alveoli. Point out that the right main bronchus is wider and has a more vertical inclination than the left, which makes it for an inhaled foreign object to land here. Trace the path of blood through the heart pointing out the structures listed below. Discuss the conduction system. Discuss atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.

Structures: sternum (manubrium, body, xiphiod), ribs (12 pair: 7 true, 5 false), trachea (series of C-shaped cartilagenous rings), right and left main bronchi (right is wider, shorter and more vertical, so inhaled objects get lodged here), bronchioles, lungs (right - 3 lobes, left - 2 lobes, hilum), diaphragm, superior and inferior vena cava, right and left atria, pectinate muscles, right and left ventricle (left is about 3 times as big as right), tricuspid valve, bicuspid / mitral valve, papillary muscles, chordae tendinae, semilunar valves, SA node, AV node, purkinje fibers.

4. Abdominal Cavity: Begin by pointing out the esophagus in the thoracic cavity and tracing that structure down to the stomach. Outline the fundus, body, and pylorus in the stomach. Demonstrate the rugae in the stomach. Discuss how the mucosal lining of the stomach produces acid to aid in the digestion of protein, and mucin to protect the stomach from being damaged during digestion. Trace the path of food through the small intestine while asking the students to name each segment. When you reach the illeocecal valve demonstrate the appendix and discuss the dangers of septic shock after during appendicitis. Continue to trace the path of food naming the ascending, transverse, descending, sigmoid and rectum.
Point out the liver and discuss some of its functions (see list below). Point out the gallbladder. Discuss the purposes of bile Discuss cholelithiasis and if possible show a gallstone to the students. Move to the pancreas. Discuss its endocrine and exocrine functions. Discuss diabetes both insulin dependent and independent. Talk about the risk factors for developing diabetes and how diabetes can influence overall health. Point out the spleen. Present its basic function as an organ which "filters" the blood. Discuss splenic lacerations and how they dealt with in the operating room.
Point out the kidneys and discuss their function. Talk about the impact of hypertension on the kidney. Discuss renal stones. Trace the path of urinary flow asking the students to name the structures as you progress. Point out the bladder. You may want to cut across the most anterior section of the bladder to demonstrate its lumen. Students will wonder why it is so flat in the cadaver. Explain to them that it is empty of urine and has contracted down after death.

Structures: esophagus, stomach, small intestine (6 meters in length), large intestine (1.5 meters), rectum, anal canal, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidney, ureter, bladder, urethra

Refresher points on the pancreas and liver and spleen:

1. elongated organ which lies between the stomach and the duodenum
2. accessory digestive organ
3. pancreatic cells are arranged in units called acini
a. secrete a sodium bicarbonate solution and enzymes to make pancreatic fluid
b. pancreatic enzymes include trypsin, chymotrypsin, carboxypeptidase, to break down proteins, pancreatic lipase to hydrolyze fats, and pancreatic amylase to degrade most carbohydrates except cellulose
4. also an endocrine gland
a. islets of Langerhans secrete the hormones insulin and glucagon
b. regulate the concentration of glucose in the blood

1. the largest and functionally most complex organ in the body
a. secretes bile which aids in fat digestion
b. removes nutrients from the blood
c. converts glucose to glycogen for storage
d. converts glycogen to glucose as needed
e. stores iron and certain vitamins
f. converts amino acids to keto acids and urea
g. manufactures many proteins found in blood
h. detoxifies many drugs and poisons in the body
i. phagocytizes bacteria and worn out blood cells
j. performs countless functions of metabolism on amino acids, fats and carbohydrates
2. accessory digestive organ
3. produces bile which passes through the common bile duct
a. bile is stored in the gall bladder
b. when fat enters the duodenum, gall bladder releases bile into the duodenum

1. largest lymphatic organ
2. macrophages remove bacteria, toxins, viruses and other foreign matter from blood
3. macrophages remove blood of aged red blood cells

5. Pelvic Cavity: Point out the uterus, fallopian tubes, fimbriae, and ovaries. Discuss the processes of ovulation and fertilization. Be sure to point out that the egg when ovulated is expelled into the pelvic cavity where it is brought into the oviduct by the action of the fimbriae. Discuss abdominal and tubal pregnancies.

Structures: uterus, fallopian tubes, fimbriae, and ovaries.


After completing this AIMS activity students will:

1. become acclimated to the use of a cadaver as a learning tool for health-science education
2. explore the structure of, functions of, and relationships among major organs and body systems
3. describe several major diseases effecting Americans today and how nutrition, exercise and proper health habits can prevent many diseases
4. describe principles of movement and physical fitness
5. students will feel comfortable asking health related questions of their physicians
6. posses the foundational knowledge needed to understand physician guidance in regards to disease prevention and treatment

Standards Alignment

National Standards

National Science Education (NSE) content standards for grades 9-12:

-Systems order and organization
-personal and community health
-form and function
-matter, energy and organization of living systems
-evidence, models and explanation

State Standards


Show Me Standards:

(Science, and Health/Physical Education)

-characteristics and interactions of living organisms
-properties and principles of matter and energy
-structures of, functions of, and relationships among human body systems
-principles of movement and physical fitness
-methods used to assess health, reduce risk factors, and avoid high risk behaviors (such as violence, tobacco, alcohol and other drug use)
-diseases and methods for prevention, treatment and control