I’ve been involved in a unique educational outreach project for the past two years, a collaboration between an urban middle school and a major health system. Each week, sixth, seventh or eighth grade students visit one of the health system’s facilities and work alongside professional health care providers. The goal is quite simple: to motivate students toward science and health care careers by demonstrating the real-life application of basic sciences.
This year I incorporated my personal interest in video into the program with great success. I filmed a selection of the 27 weekly visits and put the films on Vimeo. The students can share their experiences with classmates, teachers and parents; consequently, the program reaches more than the 90 enrolled students. I’m told the films are broadcast in the school lunch room for all to see what happens during the field trips.
A small group of students participated in a two week summer internship. My colleagues and I gave them a workshop in basic “medical acting” and used videos to critique their work. The students were so much more engaged-having had the opportunity to watch themselves-than they would have been with an ordinary classroom lecture.
I think this just goes to show that technology we often take for granted or completely overlook can be used in innovative, educational ways. It was simply delightful watching the students reflect on their first attempts at being standardized patients. And they had fun, too!
Here is what five of the students had to say about the experience: