Hands-on science and medicine lessons for high schoolers

(From left) Gregory Bryant, a first-year medical student, works with Khoa Nguyen, Idara Umana, Dorie Umana and Iqra Said, all students at Soldan High School, Feb. 19 as part of the Health Professionals Recruitment and Enrichment Program offered by the School of Medicine’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA). The SNMA is an independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. School of Medicine members of SNMA have made six educational outreach trips to area schools so far in 2010, and six more are planned. The goals are to expose underserved students to medicine and science, to connect students to summer opportunities where they can further explore science, and to provide role models in science to at-risk youth. The medical students teach a heart lesson and a lung lesson. Each lesson consists of five rotation stations where students get to touch and feel real human organs as well as listen to their heart sounds, take blood pressures and experience what it feels like for someone to breathe with asthma or emphysema.