THE ORGAKITS EDUCATIONAL MODEL – Concept and main characteristics

The OrganKits Educational Model represents a novel pedagogical approach for Secondary Schools with the primary objective of fostering active learning within the STEAM domain. Distinguished by the innovative utilization of plastinated organs as a tactile and manipulative asset, this material is coupled with an educational framework that offers adaptable teaching modalities for the STEAM disciplines. Thus, OrganKits facilitates dynamic and immersive learning experiences, empowering students to engage in exploratory inquiry and interdisciplinary comprehension.

The main innovation of the Organkits relies on the educational potential of plastinates. This potential is increased with the use of active learning methods and digital resources. Plastinates are unique anatomical specimens which combine the “real” anatomy of the organs with maximum handling possibilities (direct manipulation, durability and safety). Plastinated materials have hardly been used in Secondary Schools while are widespread in many Anatomy Departments within universities worldwide. Notably, two pivotal partners in this project, the University of Murcia (UM) and Discover-IN SL, stand as pioneering institutions within this domain.

The educational content of OrgarKits is tailored for students aged 14th to 16th years old, so relevant curricular topics of this level have been integrated within the educational packages. Furthermore, educational activities have been designed to align the attainment of curricular learning objectives with the cultivation of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, as outlined by the European Union’s education framework. This harmonization ensures a comprehensive and holistic approach to education, equipping students with both subject-specific knowledge and essential lifelong skills essential for their personal and professional development.

The interdisciplinary nature of OrganKits serves as a platform for increased awareness and engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Above all, OrganKits are instrumental in ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality education. Furthermore, each OrganKit is meticulously designed to address a specific health-related topic, thereby fostering greater awareness of healthy habits and a deeper understanding of prevalent issues such as tobacco and alcohol addiction, nutritional disorders, chronic stress, gender discrimination etc. Through these initiatives, OrganKits contribute significantly to the promotion of holistic education, empowering individuals to make informed decisions and lead healthier lives, ultimately contributing to the achievement of sustainable development objectives.

The model involves a total of 6 OrganKits, all of them directly aligned with at least one SDG. “Cardiohealth & Emotions”, “Nutrihealth & Wellness”, “Mentalhealth & Mindfulness” and “Sportshealth & Dependence” OrganKits will contribute to the SDGs #3 & #4. The “Neumohealth & Environment” OrganKit with be associated to SDGs #3, #4 & #15, and the “Reprohealth & Gender” OrganKit to SDGs #3, #4 & #5.

The OrganKits Educational Model also promotes the development of other transversal competences, which are integrated within the educational activities. These include proficiency in utilizing digital tools, the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices, and fostering awareness of social inclusion. By incorporating these elements into the learning process, OrganKits not only enhance subject-specific knowledge but also train students with essential skills and values crucial for navigating an increasingly interconnected and dynamic world.

Inclusion is promoted by an inclusive environment in the learning process.

  • Through problem-based learning (PBL) all the students participate and have equal opportunities to become active learners which experience the benefits of critical thinking. Design of podcasts, videos, practical activities -i.e. body painting-, music, problem solving activities shall foster scientific learning independely of their background.  Most activities include real world problems, i.e. tasks related to digestion in NutriHealth, active investigation of heart anatomy in CardioHealth, lung experiments in NeumoHealth, always aimed at promoting critical thinking aligned with the PBL principles.
  • Curricular teachers, as well as specialised ones, can adjust the access to the Organkits according to the level of disability of the students. Thus, for fragile students, whether they are disabled or from a different cultural background, topics are introduced through a simple, concrete, and body orientated approach related to its structure and functionality. Moreover, blind students can learn directly from the plastinated organs by touch. Let alone that plastinates can be used at home when students are impeded to attend the school.
  • Social learning dynamics and classroom environments are incorporated into student evaluations. Thus, team presentations of the project results and activities are used to evaluate knowledge and scientific competence. In these set up fragile and special needed students get the support of the group or a tutor to become more confident.

A broad number of environmentally sustainable practices are considered in the educational activities. Especially, in the Organkit “Neumohealth & Environment” activities related with the promotion of healthy habits for the respiratory function are promoted. Also, research projects about the sources of pure air in nature, and how it can be better managed in society are considered. Thus, students are involved evaluating the effects of smoking on the lung physiology, in activities about the art in nature -i.e. painting or poem contest-, along with investigating the resemblance between the brochial tree pattern and fractals found in nature.

As mentioned, digital tools are broadly promoted during the implementation of the Organkits Educational Model. This competence is not only developed by students but also by teachers through different actions. Thus, the educational activities include the use of different types of digital tools, i.e. design of digital content, management of digital images and short videos, internet scientific search, 3D printing, etc.


The OrganKits Educational Model represents a relevant innovation in Secondary Education, offering a dynamic and holistic approach to learning. From the powerful learning possibilities given by the plastinated organs, the model promotes active learning methodologies aimed at promoting the Key Competences of the European framework and awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, Organkits promote real inclusion, green practices and factual use of digital tools which are not only beneficial for the students but also for all the education community.

By Octavio M. López Albors (Project coordinator)