Dr. Robin’s School of Pre-Medicine can provide a significant amount of course content on human anatomy, but it serves best as supplemental material. The website says that it was created for children in grades three through eight, and it can also be used as a supplement for older students.
The course material is presented on videos, and the videos are labeled either “beginner” or “intermediate.” Most of the beginner videos seem best for students in grades four through eight. Dr. Robin's School is in the process of creating either a coloring page or worksheet for each video. Those that are available are linked under the pertinent image for the video.
The videos are grouped under headings such as Microbiology, Eight Senses, Pulmonology: Lungs, Neurology: Nerves & Brain; and Genetics & DNA. Subscribers have access to all content. Subscribers select a topic then choose a video under that topic. The videos are arranged in order of increasing difficulty, with the beginner videos first.
Some of the videos listed under the topics also show up under two special headings that identify the videos that offer students hands-on activities. Under “Drawing, Coloring, Modeling,” five videos labeled for beginners have students either draw on their own or color a downloadable PDF coloring page. Two lessons for the intermediate level have students work with modeling clay—in one instance, to make a model of the heart and its blood vessels.
Under “Dissections, Activities, & Experiments,” there are four videos with hands-on activities for beginners. For the intermediate level, there are six videos with hands-on activities plus two dissections (a beef heart and a chicken).
Most videos run about a half-hour. However, there are a few outliers. One hands-on activity is less than eight minutes long, and the chicken dissection runs almost 50 minutes.
Dr. Robin often begins the videos with analogies that will help students understand concepts. For instance, early in the beginner video, “Draw a Human Cell,” she discusses in detail the process of baking cookies. Then she draws an analogy to the cell’s production of proteins to explain how all of the components in the cell work. She sometimes uses visual aids or illustrations, but the videos are primarily of Dr. Robin teaching. She is an excellent teacher, and these videos rely much more on her presentation skills than on graphics or other elements.
Even the beginner videos have a significant amount of content. For example, in the beginner video “Blood & Blood Components,” Dr. Robin discusses the blood’s role in carrying oxygen, removing carbon dioxide, transporting nutrients throughout the body, removing waster products, and serving as part of the immune system. She uses accurate terms such as nutrients, electrolytes, carbon dioxide, platelets, neutrophils, and granulocytes. While the vocabulary is challenging for younger students, they do not have to actually learn it. This points out an area that could be strengthened, especially for older students. It would be great if there were some support activities to reinforce and assess learning. Downloadable activity pages with comprehension activities would be helpful in this regard. Nevertheless, students who watch these videos can learn a great deal.
As of October 2021, there are 32 videos for beginners and 28 for the intermediate level. New videos are being added regularly.
The videos do a good job of conveying information in a manner understandable for students below high school level, and they are likely to be more effective than textbooks for most children.