Welcome to Anatomy Academy!

Anatomy Academy is an outreach and research program to combat childhood obesity through educational intervention. In 2012, while at UCLA, with the assistance of three senior professional students - Kene Ojukwu (MD/Public Policy), Molly Diaz (MD/MPH), and Jessica Padilla (Public Policy) -- Dr. Jonathan J. Wisco established Anatomy Academy to teach anatomy, physiology and nutrition to 4th-6th grade students to promote healthy lifestyles and inspire kids to pursue higher education, especially in the sciences. Here is a brief description of our program (written from the perspective of UCLA):

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of childhood obesity in children and adolescents has nearly tripled in the last 30 years, and in an effort to combat this trend, the CDC is encouraging communities to enact policy, system, and environmental initiatives that focus on obesity prevention in at-risk populations. In response to this challenge, graduate students in medical, public health, and public policy curriculums at UCLA developed a school-based health intervention called "Anatomy Academy."

Launched in June 2012, at Stella Middle Charter Academy (SMCA, Los Angeles, CA), Anatomy Academy aims to supplement existing physical education curricula at elementary schools with an interactive and hands-on learning experience with the ultimate goal to engage elementary-age students with immediately applicable biological scientific concepts, nurture their scientific curiosity, and encourage the pursuit of higher education, all the while helping them develop healthy habits along the way. UCLA medical students, dental students and undergraduate students assist in the program by teaching the 5th grade students in small group settings, not only granting them an opportunity to teach clinical content to an underserved population, but also affording the 5th graders an opportunity to work closely with motivated and successful mentors. The curriculum is designed to educate children about their bodies and the importance of gaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle inside the classroom with the usage of anatomical models and hands-on activities then reinforce these health concepts outside of the classroom during a physical component, when educators and participants engage in sports and recreational activities together.