EMSB and RI-MUHC team up for STEAM: Getting students into in science
The Montreal English School Board has found a new way to turn high school students into potential scientists and researchers of the future -- it has partnered with the The Research Institute of the MUHC, where staff will guide the students through their science projects.
The hospital is opening its doors to 40 students from seven EMSB schools in hopes of getting them interested in a science career.
“One of the reasons I’m in medicine was because of a McGill professor who used to take us to her lab and show us how things worked and took us to different research institutes. It was the most inspiring thing,” said Dr. Bruce Mazer, chief scientific officer for the RI-MUHC.
The program is called STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Students will spend six weeks working with researchers to foster dialogue and critical thinking.
“The students are going to do about six hours of collaborating with the researchers and then back at the school, they're going to continue working with the project with their teachers who have volunteered,” explained Anna Vallalta, education and technology services for the EMSB.
Schools and teachers will select the students who will take part.
Marymount Academy student Cherry Sun is picking up a lot from the opportunity.
“I really like human brains, so I thought it was cool to hold one, even though it was cold and kind of creepy,” she said. “That was cool. So I want to work with brains: psychology or maybe surgery in the future.”
For the teachers, it's an opportunity to expand students' perspective on what awaits them once they graduate.
“Just because you become an engineer doesn't mean you'll get a job. Become a radiologist, you will get a job, become an MRI technician, you will get a job, so I'm really thrilled by that aspect for them,” said Marymount teacher Ayesha Khan.
The students were also able to take a guided tour of the RI-MUHC's cancer research labs and other high-tech facilities.
“When I think back about my own high school time, I wish I had these kinds of opportunities where I can learn about all the amazing research that's going around,” said post-doctoral researcher Dr. Sejal Davla.