This past February, A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) Arizona campus held its fourth annual SparkTank competition. The event is driven by ATSU’s Teaching & Learning Center, and invites ATSU students and faculty to pitch innovative educational project ideas in a live-show style competition. The winning teams receive a $5,000 grant for their projects.
This year’s Arizona competitor’s included five student innovator and faculty mentor groups from ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) and one student-faculty group from ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS).
Cailee Welch-Bacon, PhD, ATC, and Kirsty Gaither, MA, distance support librarian, presented a project titled “Foundations of Competency-Based Education: Building an Infrastructure to Promote a Learner-Centered Experience,” focused on restructuring a passive, traditionally engineered learning dynamic into a modernized one that focuses on students being active participants in their education.
Uday Gulati, OMS IV, Abbas Charlie, OMS IV, and Norma Villanueva, MD, MPH, shared a project, titled “The Butterfly Effect”, that focused on utilizing affordable, portable and handheld ultrasounds to advance education for medical students.
Ahish Chitneni, OMS I, and Jay Crutchfield’s, MD, FACS, “Implementation of Virtual Reality into Medical School Curricula” analyzed how virtual reality could be incorporated into ATSU’s medical curriculum to enhance student learning.
John Olson, PhD, presented his project, “The Use of Collaborative Whiteboards in Interactive Education”, that worked to create a powerful digital canvas that can be used by faculty to create an interactive and immersive educational environment for student learning.
Anna Mathew, OMS I, Rupal Vora, MD, FACP, and Grace Stewart’s, MD, project, titled “Burnout Prevention Program”, focused on developing a prevention program to reduce burnout among osteopathic medical students and residents.
Saskia Richter, MS, and Chelsea Lohman Bonfilgio, PhD, ATC, CSCS, presented their “Efficacy of a 3D printed models in anatomy laboratory: a comparative analysis”, a project that assessed the practicality, utility and benefit of using 3D printed anatomical models within clinical anatomy labs on campus.
The winners of this year’s event were “Foundations of Competency-Based Education: Building an Infrastructure to Promote a Learner-Centered Experience”, “The Butterfly Effect”, which received a $5,000 grant to implement the projects, and “The Use of Collaborative Whiteboards in Interactive Education” which received a $400 grant and collaborative assistance from Academic Technology to implement the project.
“SparkTank is not only a reflection of A.T. Still University’s heart to help give their students the best education and experience possible, but a manifestation of their desire to include students and faculty in the process. Participating in this program was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had at A.T. Still University thus far,” says Mathew” I was able to witness how passionate every individual in this competition was about the potential of seeing their program implemented on campus for the betterment of the school as a whole. It this passion, innovation, and community that makes me so proud to be a part of this institution.”
Congratulations to this year’s winners!