Monday, November 15, 2010

Middle school explorers in BIDMC Labs

Harvard Medical School's Office for Diversity and Community Partnership created the Explorations program to enhance science and math curricula outside the classroom. The program links faculty, research associates, and medical students with Boston and Cambridge sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. They get hands-on exposure to research laboratories and get to hear about science career paths. The hope is to get them excited about the sciences.

Four students from the William Barton Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park spent a morning at BIDMC with Parameswary Muniandy, PhD, a pathology research fellow studying brain cancer. “Early exposure to science and how research works really helps them develop an interest in science,” said Muniandy. She helped the students feel like real researchers by putting on lab coats and gloves.

You can watch the excitement in this video. If you can't see the video, click here.


nasov said...

What a fabulous thing to see the kids filled with excitement about science. Whether they become scientists or not, this will give them an interest in technology that's essential for success in nearly every field. Good for BID for doing this.

Ivory said...

It's great that you did this. Just to let you know, you've got other labs in the hospital that are equally fascinating - your clinical labs. Send the kids there as well.

Research is great but if you don't have Medical Lab Scientists and Technicians to use the products of that research it doesn't get very far.

Right now, about 50% of the lab staff nationwide are set to retire in the next 10 years. This is an area of increasing workforce need but the profession is largely invisible - students rarely choose the career in part because they don't know it exists.

Kids visiting our hospital love seeing the blood bank or looking in multiheaded scopes at smears from the heme lab. They love micro where they find a rainbow of media and can see real bacteria growing on a plate and eating red cells. Bringing kids for a short tour of the clinical lab will get them excited about science and introduce them to a group of people they never see, who help the patients in the hospital everyday. Inspire some of them to become laboratory professionals and it could also help lessen a workforce shortage that will be a growing issue for your hospital (and hospitals across the country).

Anonymous said...

As a pathologist and former hospital clinical lab medical director, I second everything Ivory said. This profession is often overlooked.


Beverly said...

From Facebook:

Love that, especially engaging them in middle school. Science rocks.