Plural Noun


Makers of highly-detailed learning devices that become fixtures of anatomical study
Students carrying heart

The Heart-Makers

How a special project between three Animal Science sophomores became a very human production.

The thing about wire, Alexandra Delvecchio points out, is that at the end of the day, it’s just wire. “If you bend it the wrong way, it’s great; you just bend it back.”

They also wanted to make something physical. All three students admit they are crafty. After some initial discussion, the decision was made to launch into production using wire, paper, floral foam, and hot glue.

“We knew we weren’t going to get it perfect before we started to build it,” says Delvecchio. In part, that was because in order to finish the heart by the end of the semester, they would need to jump ahead of their scheduled coursework. By the time they did wrap things up, the class had moved beyond learning about the heart.

Heart model

Suska, Delvecchio, and Souva may not think it’s perfect, but it’s close. “In all it probably took us more than 30 hours to make,” says Souva. There were Friday nights, and Saturdays, and careful study of real hearts and their finest details.

Delvecchio, along with fellow Animal Science students Marta Suska and McKenna Souva, have the knowledge to back up that statement – and then some. The trio spent the Fall 2019 semester building a most-impressive project: a physical, paper mâché model of a heart.

With its wire foundation, Mod Podge finish, and detailed labelling system, the heart now lives in a campus lab, where it’s accuracy and detail will help future cohorts of learners study the nuances of the body’s most important muscle.

heart model open

More than a resource than a toy, the heart is color coded to show blood flow. Blue areas show unoxygenated blood, and red parts indicate the motion of oxygenated blood. Cards displaying the names of various parts and regions accompany the model.

It may not beat, but it does open, revealing even more detail than is found on the outer shell.

Honors Program students are tasked with completing a special project before their ultimate capstone. Delvecchio, Suska, and Souva were in the same Anatomy class in the fall. Their instructor, Dana Temp, provided the first bit of inspiration.

“We actually asked her what she wanted – what was something that would help her classes in the future,” says Suska. “We wanted to make something that would benefit students in the future.”