Kids in Medicine & Science is a community-centered, youth-oriented educational program with a three-pronged mission: Expose elementary students to the world of science and medicine, Hook middle school students, and Mentor high school students as they move into the next phase of their academic lives.
Programs (which can be scheduled as field trips to their laboratory, or as outreach to a school) include:
- The Heart Module
- Forensic Facial Reconstruction
- Drug Heist (forensic science)
- Forensic Anthropology
- Birth, Babies & Biotech (birthing simulation and genetics)
- Anatomy of Movement
UW cardiologist Mark Reisman and research scientist Dmitry Levin have been involved in this program for 10 years and currently sit on the board of directors (Reisman is the chair). They recently sponsored a program at the UW Center of Cardiovascular Innovation.
Dr. Steven Mitchell (medical director of the Emergency Department at Harborview Medical Center and associate professor of emergency medicine) was a class sponsor and his child attended the class.
“I was stunned that your team could provide such in-depth and hands-on education about the wonders of medicine and science,” he said. “I watched as each child was completely engaged while learning the anatomy and function of the heart. The classroom teaching was superb and the hands-on dissection of a pig heart – was simply the finest educational effort in this arena that I have encountered."
"Each child came away ‘buzzing’ with excitement and asking if they too could have a career in science or medicine.”
You never know when an “aha” moment might make a student’s pathway clear...
Sheridan Stephenson, now a sophomore at Stanford majoring in human biology, was asked to be part of the pilot program for Kids in Medicine more than 10 years ago.
“The second year [of the pilot] we received more hands-on experience with different cadaver organs on display," she said. "I was especially fascinated by the contrast between a healthy set of lungs and those of a smoker.
Dr. Reisman spent quite a bit of time explaining how the cardiovascular system works and allowed me to dissect the lungs and heart (with a lot of assistance.) I left exhilarated, and with an unquenchable interest in human biology."
"My goal, kindled on that afternoon at Kids in Medicine, is to attend medical school (with UW high on my list) and to become a surgeon."
To date, KIMSeattle has provided hands-on science labs and camps to over 13,500 students from 32 diverse school districts and 66 schools.
Approximately 90 percent are from the greater Puget Sound area, and 10 percent from rural districts east of the Cascade Mountains (40 percent are from minority or underserved communities).
They have educated thousands more through volunteer science fair participation, ranging from exhibiting at the National Science & Engineering Festival in Washington D.C. to the Bill & Melinda Gates Discovery Center, the Pacific Science Center, NSTA conferences, and many local school science fair nights.
KIMSeattle is run by Joanie Block, Founder and Executive Director, and Lael McAuliffe, Director of Education & Curriculum Development. If you would like to contribute to this program, please visit their website.