LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Shock and Awe

LSU Health New Orleans Nourishes the Roots of STEM

March 29, 2023

Faculty, staff and students from LSU Health New Orleans’ Schools of Medicine, Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Public Health spent a recent Saturday at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility stoking a love for science in the health disciplines. With a very large presence at STEM Fest 2023 sponsored by the New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans and Chevron, LSU Health New Orleans volunteers interacted with K-12 students and their families through a host of activities. Organizers report an attendance of more than 2,500.

The School of Medicine brought Appollo, a full-sized, talking human patient simulator with pulses and blinking eyes. The youngsters were able to resuscitate him as he gasped, “I can’t breathe.”

They saw how the breathing treatments they gave inflated the lungs at the Respiratory Therapy station, where they learned about positive and negative pressure with a pig lung. They were also able to practice intubation.

The young students were awed by the organs they could touch after donning gloves, and were shocked to find out they were real.

Nursing taught the kids how to take blood pressure and let them hear heart and lung sounds through a real stethoscope.

Public Health focused on healthy eating. The young students designed their own healthy meals with stickers on a 2’x2’ MyPlate display.

Drs. Robert Maupin and Sergii Rusnak, along with Geri Davis, staffed the Medical School tables with help from students Daniel Ruppert, LaMiah Hall, Madison Keller, Heather Duplessis, Ifeanyi Uche, Jessica Anderson, Christie Maidoh and Aysha Gibson.

Allied Health was ably represented by Dr. John Zamjahn and students Haley Alvarado and Kelsey Nicolosi.

Dr. Henry Nuss and PhD student Gabrielle Gonzalez manned the Public Health station.

Nursing students Elizabeth McCormick, Dacia Coleman and Virginia Baker volunteered, along with Nurse Recruiter Nakayla Quattlebaum.

It was a fun way to engage young people and show them career paths and the world-class resources available right here at home.

From all accounts, the day was quite a success. The feedback from the youngsters and their parents has been very positive. One wrote, “My daughter had the BEST experience yesterday, and I’m not sure who the girl was showing the organs with the big smile on her face, but when we left the STEM Fest, my daughter said she was her favorite person at the event!!!”

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