Paging Future Doctors…Science Camp at The Patch!

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Stories from The Patch

At the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine, Cabbage Patch science campers leaned close to a hospital bed to inspect a very realistic medical simulation robot.

“My chest hurts!” Suddenly the robot seemed to spring to life, but he wasn’t feeling well! Campers jumped back in surprise, and nervous laughter ensued. Once they composed themselves, they began to ask the “patient” about his symptoms with rehearsed questions they had learned in an earlier session.

“What kind of pain is it?” asked one camper. “Can you rate your pain on a scale of 1-10?” asked another. Medical student Samantha Sears produced a stethoscope and the children explored the situation further. The kids also saw that the “patient’s” fingers and toes were blue (there were blue LEDs inside the robot’s fingers and toes).

Other learning experiences at U of L included the basics of first aid and CPR, learning how to do sutures on simulated skin, and exploring heart functions by looking at lab-made heart valves on pig hearts! Perhaps the most remarkable experience was watching a LIVE open heart surgery while speaking with the surgery team in real time via video chat. Campers got to watch the patient’s vital signs and biometrics as the care team switched between videos of themselves, the patient, and the monitoring screens! They also enjoyed Lunch with the Doctor every day, and the kids asked lots of engaging questions.

In addition to the interactive experiences with medical professionals at U of L, The Patch’s Science Camp included interactions with beverage architects at Flavorman and registered dietician Bonnie Logsdon. The camp was led by The Patch’s Educational Opportunities Specialist Bianca, who has a Master’s degree in engineering.

Many themes centered on health and wellness, including Logsdon’s presentation on healthy foods and how they affect the body. Campers also received activity trackers and journaled about their steps and sleep patterns. They tried all kinds of funny dancing, moving, skipping and hopping to get extra steps in!

Hands-on science makes learning fun! We are so thankful for the community partners who provide real-life applications for scientific lessons. Your generosity ensures that all children have access to vibrant learning experiences! Maybe a future internal medicine doctor was in our group, or perhaps a dietitian who works with diabetics, or a nurse in the making.  Your support helps at-risk young people develop their dreams and builds the tools and disciplines needed to achieve those dreams.