Hands-on learning for high school students

By Jan Jarvis

TABS_web
 
Ian Massey slipped on purple gloves and grasped a human lung without hesitation.

“It feels kind a rubbery,” said Ian, 14. “You can push on it anywhere and it bounces back.”

The anatomy lesson is one of the many reasons that students attending the Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences Summer Bridge Program find the experience so inspiring. Every year, the program introduces 100 incoming high school students to hands-on learning experiences they are not likely to forget.

A visit to the anatomy lab left a few students covering their eyes or hiding under their hoodies, but most did not hesitate to hold lungs and livers while asking plenty of questions.

For Diem Kimka, 14, the program is all about discovering interesting facts about how organs work and preparing her to be a biologist.

“I know what the whole body looks like,” she said. “But I want to learn so much more about it.”

TABS students can earn dual credit as they prepare for higher education in the health sciences. The program is a collaboration among UNTHSC, the Fort Worth Independent School District, the University of North Texas and Tarrant County College.

In the summer program, students learn how to scrub and gown for surgery, listen to heart sounds and what they mean, and hear presentations from graduate students on what it is like to be in medical or research graduate programs, said Cara Fisher, coordinator for the TABS Summer Bridge Program.

“Our hope is that one of the activities these students participate in sparks their imagination and makes them say “I want to learn more about that!’” said Fisher, Instructor and Anatomist at the Health Science Center. “I would be happy to teach any one of them if they were accepted here at UNTHSC.”

Faculty members provide instruction and laboratory experiences while UNTHSC students assisted as role models in health professions. For five years, JP Morgan Chase Foundation has funded the summer program.

The students top off their week of learning with a White Coat Ceremony.

A lot of the students in the TABS program have expressed an interest in science. This program is a way to expose them to the opportunities out there, said Rustin Reeves, PhD, Professor and Director for the Center for Anatomical Sciences.

“This opens their eyes to a career in research or medicine,” Dr. Reeves said. “We hope that one day they will become researchers and physicians.”

Recent News

Screenshot 2024 06 20 At 3.45.01 pm
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

From sacrifice to success: a journey through physical therapy school

Ancelmo Mojarro came to Fort Worth to study. The Tyler native knew he wanted to be a physical therapist early on his undergraduate days. He embarked on his path to physical therapy a decade ago, inspired by a friend's suggestion amidst his quest to find his calling in the medical field. “I starte...
Garciarosanski
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

HSC pro bono physical therapy program offers hope

For 70-year-old Beverly Rozanski, the journey to improved health has been long and challenging. Raised in Michigan, Rozanski spent her childhood and early adult years struggling with physical challenges that made even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. However, her discovery of a pro bono p...
Mills John
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

Team of experts from HSC and TCOM develop a national position statement for NCCHC on care for aging patients in correctional facilities

Addressing an overlooked and sometimes neglected patient population, a group of experts from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth partnered with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to write a “Care for Aging Patients in the Correctional Setting” posit...
Jennifer Fix 2 Purple
  • Education
|Jun 18, 2024

Pharmacy technician shortage driving force behind new, online prep course

A self-paced, online Pharmacy Technician Preparation Course is now being offered through The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth as a way to help combat the shortage of pharmacy technicians at hospitals, health systems and retail pharmacies. Recognized by the Pharmacy Tech...