University of Vermont

Middle-school Students Engage in Science at Girls Discovery Day at UVM

Middle school students at Girls Science Discovery Day
Iva Wich, a seventh-grader from the Newton School in Strafford, Vt., and Alexi Meyer, an eighth-grader from Williston Central School, participants in Girls Science Discovery Day at the UVM College of Medicine May 11, 2013. (Photo by Erin Post, UVM Medical Communications)

More than 100 seventh- and eighth-grade girls from 36 schools across Vermont engaged with University of Vermont medical students and faculty physicians and scientists on May 11, 2013.  Hosted by the American Medical Women’s Association’s student chapter at UVM, the event was held in UVM’s Given Building, Medical Education Center, and the UVM/Fletcher Allen Clinical Simulation Laboratory in the Rowell Building.

Following a welcome, the attendees heard a keynote presentation from Anya Koutras, M.D., professor of family medicine, and then participated in ice breaker activities. Each group of three girls had the opportunity to attend four out of five workshops, including “Parts is Parts” with Sarah Greene, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences, and Lauren Arms, Ph.D., lecturer in psychology and neurological sciences associate, which allowed participants to engage in hands-on activities with real anatomical specimens in the Gross Anatomy Lab. Other workshops included “Explore the Blood” with Paula Tracy, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and Foundations course director, and a “Say ‘Ahhh’” workshop that took place in the Clinical Simulation Laboratory’s outpatient Assessment Center, equipped with 12 mock patient exam rooms, where medical students taught physical exam skills and served as pretend patients. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn “Lessons from the Dead” with Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., and Anita Iyer, M.D., associate professors of pathology, examining human organs and learning about changes that can be seen in disease, and also toured the Clinical Simulation Laboratory’s virtual hospital, meeting and working with simulated and standardized patients.

This year’s event leader was Class of 2016 student Kelsey Preston. A number of medical and graduate students also assisted at the event.