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Samantha Davis and the MakerLab Featured in American Association for Respiratory Care

The School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Respiratory Care and the MakerLab, found within the Boise State University Albertsons Library, was featured in the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).

Samantha Davis

Samantha Davis, clinical assistant professor for the Department of Respiratory Care has created a new, visionary way for her students to study the heart. Davis is utilizing one of the many resources found on campus to assist her students in learning neonatal cardiac defects.

The MakerLab is a radically inclusive community with access to emerging technologies and an innovative culture of learning. The MakerLab offers 3D printing, vinyl cutting, videography accommodations, and much more for all students and faculty to use while aiding their learning. Davis plans on allowing her students to use the 3D printers to create different hearts and present how to better identify heart defects.

“Each group will print a normal heart in addition to their assigned defect,” said Davis. “Each of the hearts are cut into three to four slices so the defects within the heart can be easily seen. Students in the neonatal/pediatric respiratory course will have several weeks to test and print their models before presenting them to the entire class.”

Students using 3D printers in the MakerLab
Students using 3D printers in the MakerLab

Davis has also identified additional possibilities for her students to utilize the MakerLab by creating videos, podcasts, and equipment that she believes could be used to better educate patients. Davis suspects that students who are able to use 3D printing in this course will typically be more successful in the understanding of heart defects.

“Countless studies have shown us that engagement, application, and critical thinking are all significantly higher when active-learning strategies are used,” said Davis. “In the past, students have had to learn about neonatal heart defects through reading, discussion, and computer animation. It’s a combination of problem solving, practical skill, and creativity. Making allows you to take the great ideas you have and bring them to life where you can touch them, test them, and make them even better.”

To read the full article by AARC, visit