Published on in CHOP News
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) held the 3rd Annual Discovery Day on October 21, 2019, and 30 tenth graders from three local high schools came together for a day filled with science fun. The program, hosted by CHOP’s Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs (ATOP), is a science-focused workshop designed to stimulate science curiosity in high school sophomores through exposure to research, technology, and medicine at CHOP. Wendy Reed Williams, Ph.D., Senior Director of ATOP, started the day by helping the students create and share their own science stories. They also heard from Marcus Davey, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator with the Center for Fetal Research about how his interest in science inspired his research work.
“Discovery Day is part of broader efforts at the Research Institute to diversify and strengthen the future biomedical research workforce pipeline at CHOP and to strengthen student’s commitment to STEM,” said Michelle Marshall, Instructional Designer in ATOP and co-director of Discovery Day. “Exposing young talent to STEM careers is an essential part of CHOP’s commitment to educating students at all experience levels.”
To increase the students’ exposure to various career paths, the teens enjoyed a science carnival where they rotated between four interactive stations. The students watched a video where each carnival host introduced themselves and posed a science question. Each host then answered the questions through a fun, hands-on activity. The participating hosts and questions included:
- Frank Wartinger, AuD, ABAC (Audiology) - How Loud is Loud Enough?
- Jennifer Molnar, MSN, PNP-BC (Emergency Medicine) - Can you name ways to keep your body and bones healthy?
- Sharon Irving, PhD, MSN, CRNP (Nursing Research) - Are your hands really clean after you wash them?
- Chelsea Ward McIntosh, MS, CCRP (Center for Injury Research and Prevention) – Why do new drivers crash?
To complete the day, the teens toured research laboratories in the Colket Translational Research Building and Leonard and Madelyn Abramson Pediatric Research Center. They visited labs and met researchers including Ian Krantz, MD, (Genetics) and Eric Marsh, MD, PhD, (Neurology) and toured the Biorepository Resource Center and the Zebrafish Core.
Most of the participating teens plan to have a career in a healthcare field – whether as a nurse, a pediatrician, a veterinarian or in another related field. They came ready to ask questions and to learn more about science and the hospital itself. “I came today to look into medicine, because I want to be a veterinarian and I know it takes a lot of work. This is a great way to expand my knowledge,” said one student.