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Tiger Cubs Learn Hands-on Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans STEM NOLA Day


About 25 middle school students from metropolitan New Orleans schools got hands-on science and health experience during STEM NOLA Day on a recent Saturday at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. Hosted by the Office of Diversity & Community Engagement, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Match (STEM) event was an offering of its Tiger Cubs Program. Capital One made the event at LSU Health New Orleans possible through a generous donation.

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The subject of the day was the heart. LSU Health New Orleans medical faculty and student volunteers taught the youngsters about the heart and how it works. After learning the concepts and a PowerPoint lecture, the students dove deeper and applied their new knowledge. Using human patient simulators, they listened to human heart and lung sounds in the medical school’s Isidore Cohn, Jr., MD Student Learning Center and learned how to distinguish what physiological action produced what sound and the difference between normal and abnormal heartbeats. The youth also closely examined sheep hearts in the anatomy lab.
The students, along with parents, met and interacted with LSU Health New Orleans health care professionals and health professions students and got answers to their questions about careers in the health professions. They had the opportunity to use resources available in few other places in the country at this level.

The goals of STEM NOLA are to help youth develop an interest in STEM and STEM-based learning activities. The program also exposes them to opportunities and possibilities of STEM-Based careers and to develop skills necessary to pursue them.

LSU Health New Orleans Tiger Cubs it a pipeline program, sponsored by the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Community Engagement. It pairs medical students, one on one, with 5th-8th grade students interested in pursuing careers in the health care professions. STEM NOLA Day was just one program of the Tiger Cubs Program. By providing access to education, role models, meaningful projects, and the most advanced and sophisticated technologies available right here at home, LSU Health New Orleans hopes to inspire young people to enter the health professions and then stay in Louisiana to practice.