LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Bringing Science to Life

A group of 4th-graders from St. Peter Claver School visited LSU Health New Orleans on a recent Wednesday morning for hands-on science lessons on the effects of smoking and alcohol on health, isolating DNA from strawberries, as well as the components of blood and their functions. The end-of-the-year field trip culminates a year of science instruction through the LSU Health New Orleans Schools Science Partnership and Science Youth Initiative programs. During the school year, LSU Health New Orleans faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows and staff in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health, Allied Health and Graduate Studies go to partner schools once a month to help teach science. At the end of the year, the 4th-graders come to the Health Sciences Center.

"We believe that New Orleans students need a strong educational foundation in the sciences and should be introduced to professional role models from the scientific community," notes Fern Tsien, PhD, Associate Professor of Genetics and Director of the Schools Science Partnership and Science Youth Initiative programs.

The programs were developed to enhance science education and improve standardized test scores, as well as to expose young students to positive and diverse science professionals and trainees as role models and STEM career possibilities.

"We try to make science more interesting, easier to understand and accessible in the classroom through hands-on science activities in coordination with the school administrators and teachers based on their current curriculum," adds Dr. Tsien.

These programs are part of a comprehensive pipeline, running the spectrum of ages and educational levels. Besides the 4th-graders, programs offer middle school, high school and college students increasingly immersive experiences to prepare for careers in the sciences.

In all since their inception in 2009, LSU Health New Orleans' science youth initiatives have served more than 2,800 students.


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